Random Thoughts and Observations: Lightning vs Blackhawks

By on November 5, 2011

Stamkos Hat Trick vs Chicago

Tampa, Fla.–Tampa Bay is rated as one of the best franchises in hockey and tonight they gave their fans a wild show as the Lightning beat the Chicago Blackhaws 5-4 in overtime.  There was too much to list but here are a few random thoughts and observations from the game tonight:

 1.  Fans at the St Pete Times Form (soon to be Tampa Bay Time Forum after first of year) enjoyed some old time Western Conference Hockey tonight as the teams went up and down with a lot of room on the ice which produced a lot of shots as, the game finished 32 shots a piece and a 5-4 Lightning win in overtime.   Both defenses were merely looking to get the puck up the ice and not thinking about taking away time and space at points during this game.

2. For those of you waiting for Lightning defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron to slow down his pace this season, well you will have to wait for another game as Bergeron had two more assists tonight which included a secondary assist on the game winner.  Bergeron has 13 assists for the season.  This puts Bergeron at or near the top of the league leaders in assists so far, early in the year.  I also keep waiting for his poor defense to show its ugly face but he was a plus 3 tonight so early in the season Bergeron has to be a big surprise for the Lightning.

3.  The start of the second period was a snap shot of the Tampa Bay Lightning season, as Stamkos and his line battled to give the team the lead 15 seconds into the period; only to have rookie Brett Connolly take a tripping penalty .  Chicago with Toews, Kane and Sharp maybe have the best power play unit in the NHL and they proved why by scoring the tying goal less than a minute after Tampa scored.  It shows the inconsistent play to start the season; the Lightning pay the price for the goal then take a bad penalty which leads to a puck in your own net.   For the Lightning to duplicate the effort of last year or go further they are going to have to tighten up their play.

4.  The second period alone should go into the NHL Network vaults as one of the most exciting periods of hockey so far this season.  As an old-time Wild West shootout broke out as both teams combined for eight goals in the period.  Chicago scored 3 goals in a 1:05 in the period to give them a 4-2 lead which then prompted Coach Guy Boucher to call timeout.  From that point forward Tampa shut down the Hawks and the Bolts eventually tied the game by the end of the second before winning it in OT.

5.  To continue the Wild West theme both teams big guns came to play.  Lightning superstar Steven Stamkos notched his fourth career hat trick (second in his career against Chicago), Vinny Lecavalier had the GWG in OT and an assist, while Marty St Louis had three assists in the game which included the deft pass on the game winner in the last minute of OT.

Not to be out done the Blackhawks Patrick Sharp had two goals, Patrick Kane had three assists,  and Marian Hossa had a goal and assist in a losing effort.

Fantasy Star of the Night:  It’s an easy one to give it to Stamkos for his hat trick which gives him 9 goals on the season, since notching his first hat trick against Chicago on February 17, 2009;  Stamkos leads the NHL in goals 121.

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