The Tampa Bay Lightning led for 50 minutes in game 1 but that wasn’t enough. Despite leading for the majority of the game, the Chicago Blackhawks came from behind in the final 10 minutes and stole it right from the Lightning. The result was a 2-1 win for the Blackhawks in regulation. That was one I think the Lightning had to have. They played hard for 2 periods, but completely sat back on their heels while the Blackhawks brought the game to them. It happens in every sport, other than baseball of course. Sit back and try and run out the clock and that is what the end result will be. The Lightning got to relaxed in the final stretch of the game and it cost them dearly. It was only game 1; however, those are the games that you will look back at and realize why you lost the series. For 10 minutes the Lightning let it get away. They are now in a tough spot tonight in game 2, where a loss would be crippling to their efforts of winning the Stanley Cup. The Blackhawks have been down this road in a finals before recently, the Lightning are the new kids on the block. They had a grand opportunity to knock them off, but let that opportunity slip away.
All a team can do at that point is focus on the next one, because the Lightning don’t have a time machine to go back and erase the slop they displayed late in the first game. The concern for the Lightning was how Ben Bishop was going to perform in net, and by all accounts he did a great job giving the Lightning a shot of winning the game. He didn’t have much of a chance at all on that second goal which got deflected past him by a stick of a Lightning player into the top corner. Not much Bishop could have done there. He did all about he could have in that game, it was on the Lightning to not play sloppy hockey in their own end, especially at such a critical juncture in the game. A big game for the Lightning tonight. Win and your back in the series, lose and heading back to Chicago down 2-0 is a death sentence.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Game 1 figured to be a feel it out process for both teams. The Lightning were flying around the puck in the 1st period and I think it caught the Blackhawks off guard because they certainly hard to answer in the early goings. I don’t think the Hawks will be playing it easy in the 1st period this time around. Another team with a 1-0 series lead maybe, but not a Joel Quennville coached team. Even though the Blackhawks won that game, I don’t think he was happy with how most of the game played out. The performance by Bishop in game 1 was a rare performance from him at home in the playoffs. At home against the Rangers in the last series, Bishop allowed an average of 5.6 goals per game.
The past game was a change of pace for the Blackhawks as well, who were in a series against the Ducks that seen a plethora of goals being scored. An average of 7 goals per game were put up there. The OVER was 4-0 before their last game went UNDER. The feeling out process is over, and I expect more of a wide open game with the play makers on the ice in this game. The top scoring offense in the NHL, the Lightning, should light the lamp more than once tonight. Before the series even began, I thought to , if the first game goes UNDER I’ll be on the OVER in game 2. I won’t stray away and stick to the plan. OVER 5 for me in game 2 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals tonight.
PICK: OVER 5 GOALS (-127) 5DIMES – BEST ODDS