Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Game 10 - Goals are Overrated

Game: 10
Opponent: @ St. Louis
Did I watch Live?: Nope
Why Not?: Work and NHL Game Center's weird 48 hour blackout rule.
Did I watch on replay?: Eventually

Three Stars: 3. Me, for watching the game knowing the outcome 2. Alex Killorn 1. Jake Allen

Worst Play: Pierre McGuire laughing uncontrollaby at the name of Ben Bishop's family restaurant - “Bishop's Post”

When I thought of this little project I knew there would be games like this. Games I missed live due to whatever reason (usually work) that I had had no interest in watching. A 1-0 loss to the Blackhawks is one thing. Following it up with a 2-0 loss to the Blues is dreadful. Not that the Blues are a bad team, but after watching them not score in one game, do I really want to spend another hour and a half watching them not score again.

Apparently I do, as I finally got around to watching. The first period wasn't too bad. If you're one of those fans that believe hard work and pushing the play of the game (rink generalship if you will) then you would be extra disappointed in the fact that after 20 minutes St. Louis had the lead.

The Lightning outshot the Blues 12-7 and had a healthy lead in attempted shots (something like 29 to 12) but thanks to a little lackadaisical play by Bishop they trailed. With about four minutes left in the period, the Blues won a faceoff in the Lightning zone they worked it back to the point (Alex Killorn had a chance to clear but he choose to play the body) where Colton Parayko (Pierre's favorite player of the game) fired a puck at the net. Bishop nonchalantly stood at his goal line thinking it was going high and wide. Unfortunately old man Scott Gomez got his stick in the way and redirected it past Bishop. All the goalie could do was appeal to the ref that Gomez's stick was above the crossbar. It wasn't.

That was all Jake Allen needed for the win. The Lightning ricocheted a couple of pucks off of the post, but couldn't generate enough to get anything past Allen. Troy Bower would seal the game with an empty netter with less than a minute to play. The buzzer sounded and Tampa Bay had been shut out for the second consecutive game.

Despite the two shutouts, they did manage to pick up 4 out of 8 points on their swing through the Central Division. And they did so why picking up some nagging injuries. The casual observer might think that not having bottom six forwards Brian Boyle and Cedric Paquette in the line up isn't a huge deal when Stamkos, The Triplets, Killorn and Drouin are still in the lineup, but the loss of Boyle and Paquette did upset the lines a bit. Going with the 11 forwards and 7 defensemen caused a lot of line mixing, I'm pretty sure Valteri Filppula played with every single forward on the team, and it was hard for some players (Jonathan Drouin) to adjust to the changes.

Hopefully a return (although brief) to home ice recharges the offense.

Jo or Johnny:

Like his teammates, Drouin was held scoreless against the Blues and is no without a point for the 5th straight game. Not good for a top line forward. If the rest of the team was scoring, then his play might be more of a topic. Should he moved off of Stamkos' line? Not yet. He is still playing well, just not able to cash in on his opportunities. Moving to Calgary – hey Johnny Gaudreau didn't score! Despite being shut out by the Islanders he still leads this little contest 10 point to 6.

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