Before anyone accuses me of it, I am not blaming Antti Niemi for last
night’s loss by the Blackhawks. In fact, I thought he played reasonably
well, and he certainly gave his team a good chance to win. No, this is
more about the Blackhawks as a team and how after one bad goal they let
the game get completely away from them.
At the time of the game-tying goal by J.P. Dumont in the early
minutes of the third period, the Blackhawks has been in control of the
game for most of the preceding 40 minutes. Then….
At that point in the game, the Chicago Blackhawks had 22 shots on net
compared to just 13 for the Predators. It’s a perfect of example of how
tremendous goaltending on end of the ice can turn the tables in a game,
especially when there’s a fluke, soft goal allowed on the other side.
this isn’t just about the one bad goal. What happened after the goal is
the story of the game, as the life was sucked out of the home crowd and
the Blackhawks themselves, who managed just four shots on net the rest
of the game. The Predators would take control in the third period after
Dumont’s goal, taking 13 shots and scoring three goals (two
The Blackhawks cannot allow one bad goal to affect
their performance in a game, especially if they have hopes of heading
to the Stanley Cup finals and especially if they’ll be riding with Antti
Niemi along the way. Perhaps it was just too deflating to have worked so
hard against a spectacular effort by Pekka Rinne, only to have the game
turnaround on one backhanded flutter puck.
After Saturday’s 4-1 loss to Buffalo , here’s what coach Peter Laviolette told the Tennessean: “I thought we could’ve had more gas, to be honest with you. The energy just wasn’t there; maybe the second period had something to do with that or the road trip, which was a long trip. I’m not making any excuses, but I think when we play at a higher tempo that’s when we’re at our best, and we had more to push in that area tonight.”
The first game back home after a long road trip is typically a difficult one for most teams, so we’ll see how the Predators respond on Tuesday night when they host Arizona.
A month to remember: Duchene lighting it up in November
When a player’s struggling and rumors start swirling, one of two things tends to happen.
Either the player involved lets it affect his on-ice performance in a negative way or he’s motivated by the trade talk and turns his struggles around.
Instead of pouting, the 24-year-old rolled up his sleeves and got to work.
In October, Duchene scored a goal and an assist in 10 games, but things changed in a hurry when November rolled around.
The Avs forward has picked up at least one point in 11 of 13 games this month.
Duchene has 11 goals and nine assists in November and he still has a game to go before the calendar flips to December.
“Obviously, things completely flip-flopped,” Duchene told the Denver Post. “That’s the coldest start I’ve ever had and things are good right now. Obviously, I know it could go right back, I could go cold again, that’s just the nature of the game. You just have to work every day to keep it going. The most important thing is to be able to provide offense and help the team win.”
Now it was Julien’s turn to address the “issue” at hand.
Julien clarified his original comment about Lundqvist and he also tackled some of Vigneault’s comments.
“I think it’s pretty obvious what I said . . . I thought Lundqvist sold it,” said Julien. “Not for a second did I ever question Henrik Lundqvist as a person, or a goaltender or any of that. We all know how good he is as a goaltender, and I know he’s a good person. I’ve met him at the All-Star games and all that stuff.
Julien on his eyesight: “As far as my eyes, I’m not the one that compared Beleskey’s hit to Aaron Rome’s [hit]. We’ll just leave it at that.”