Stars Scalped By Blackhawks

 Before this game , I was reminded of a specific pre-season game in which these two games played each other . I remembered , rather fondly , how the Hawks had “standing room only” in their penalty box . I believe that at one time , they had six players in there . That was funny . I know I have a picture of that somewhere (probably on my MySpace site) . 

 This game , however , was nowhere near as funny . Or enjoyable .

 The first period showed Our Stars getting into defensive trouble in a hurry . They did not seem ready to play . I know that they had played the night before but , so did the Hawks . Defensively , we looked slow and just did not seem to have any desire to do the hard work that good defense requires . Their forecheck was absolutely killing our defense and ruining our exits from our own zone . At times , there were panicky decisions made and that caused an epidemic of turnovers . The best player we had in the first period was definitely Marty Turco .

 When the second started , I had hope that Tippett would have chewed our boys out , that they had taken it to heart and gotten their heads on straight . At first , it seemed to have made a difference , but it did not last for very long . Our Stars had chances , but very much like the game against Vancouver , our boys seemed to be more interested in passing the puck instead of funneling it at the net . Because of the lack of shooting , there was also a lack of scoring . The turnover disease still plagued Our Stars . 

 The third period started with Krahn in net instaed of Marty . Seeing that Krahn started this period , I knew that Tippett had given up on his team to get their collective acts together . Poor Krahn was scored on in less than a minute . Turnovers and poor defensive play set it up for the Hawks . We did finally manage to get some points on the board courtesy of Brian Sutherby and Fabian Brunnstrom but , two goals to five (given the way that we were playing) was like trying to keep rain off of your car with a Kleenex during a torrential downpour . The game ended on a sour note when the Hawks added insult to injury and scored one final goal to make it six to two with roughly six seconds remaining .

 This game was absolutely horrid . I cannot think of even one thing positive that came out of this game . This was a very important game that needed to be won and it appeared that they did not even really attempt to do so . Tippett even said something similar .

 We had little to no puck possession . There was never any puck security . We chased the Hawk player who had the puck the entire game . Defensively , we never even showed up . The “back door” play was never guarded against . Passes were rarely interupted -passes that are twenty feet long should never be made with such ease as the Hawks did . Turnovers right in front of Marty caused him to be tested severely far too often . We did attempt to help Krahn out a little , but it was already too little , too late . 

 During the post-game interviews , they had Tippett on . Not surprisingly , his answers to questions were exceptionally short . He was clearly angry (jaws set and red faced) – and he had every right to be . He saw what we saw , he just had better seats (or if he is concerned for his job , worse seats) . He said that he could count on one hand how many players played their best during this game . I had to agree with him . He said that his decision to pull Marty for the third period , was not because Marty played badly , but more because his team hung him out to dry in the other two periods .

 I was surprised that Brent Krahn remained so positive despite the loss and him giving up goals . Given , it was his first NHL game , but I guess I expected that he would be a little more upset . But , again , it was not either Marty’s or his fault that the team lost . I do hope that Krahn improves his gameplay and is able to do more for the team . I think we need somebody who can be positive no matter how bad things are .

 I do not think we lost this game because our team sucks . Our team does NOT suck . I think we lost this game because our players did not play as a team . Only a few players did their best and it showed on the scoreboard . Our Team is not full of “super talented” players . We don’t have four lines of Joe Thorntons or even three lines of Alexander Ovechkins . What we do have are good players who can be a great team but only when they ALL work together to get the job done , thus the word team

 MY STARS of the game (or slaughter as it were) ;
 1. Marty Turco- He gave his “A” game the entire time he was on the ice . Not many other players can say that about this game and he only played forty minutes of it .
 2. James Neal – He kept his head about him and still tried even when others were not doing so . For such a young man , he sure does have a lot of hockey sense and common sense .
 3. Jere Lehtinen and Stephane Robidas – They never quit . They always tried , but it was their teammates who had given up , not them .
 Honourable mention ;
 Brent Krahn – A guy that can come into a game in such an important position that late in the game – after seeing how his team had done the other guy first – and still be positive , deserves to be on my awards list somewhere . I do hope that he improves his gameplay and manages to earn a job here .


~ by Adam on February 18, 2009.

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