Five Things from Blackhawks in Game 3 loss: Missed chances


Five Things from Blackhawks in Game 3 loss: Missed chances

Well, the Blackhawks have a fight on their hands now, don’t they?

The Blackhawks liked a lot of what they did on Monday night. But it was the little mistakes and the inability to hold a lead for very long that proved costly. And now the Blackhawks are looking at a deficit, as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat them 3-2 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.

[MORE: Ben Bishop holds off Blackhawks as Lightning take a 2-1 series lead]

Will they rebound in Game 4? We’ll find that out in less than 48 hours. For now, let’s look at the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ loss to Tampa Bay.

1. Giving up the lead too quickly. Ten times this postseason, the Blackhawks have given up a goal within two minutes of their scoring one. It happened again on Monday, with Ondrej Palat scoring just 13 seconds after Brandon Saad had given the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead. It’s unacceptable, it’s costly and it’s unlike the Blackhawks in postseasons past. Said Corey Crawford, “After you grab momentum after a goal, you want to build on that. Giving up a goal after that is not what we want.”

2. Ben Bishop comes through. It didn’t look like Bishop would make it past the first period. But he withstood what the Blackhawks threw at him that period, giving up just one goal on the 19 shots they had. Bishop stopped 36 of 38 shots. Coach Jon Cooper wasn’t surprised. “We're not going to put anybody in a game that is going to be in harm's way of hurting himself. We talked long and hard if he could play tonight. There wasn't a doubt in his eyes.”

[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans]

3. Is Johnny Oduya OK? Oduya left the game in the second period, not long after Victor Hedman tripped him up. He returned in the third period but didn’t play a lot. Coach Joel Quenneville said he’ll see how Oduya feels on Tuesday. If the Blackhawks lose him, they’ll be in big trouble.

4. Missed chances in the first. Oh, the Blackhawks had some glorious opportunities and they definitely had the Lightning and Bishop on the robes. Marian Hossa looked skyward after missing a gaping net – he was tripped up on the play. Teuvo Teravainen missed just wide on another open net. “That was too bad, because we created so much pressure, so many shots,” Hossa said of the first. “I think we missed two empty-netters, so definitely that hurts a little bit.”

5. Road warriors. Give credit to the Lightning: they’ve found ways to win away from home this postseason. The Lightning are now 8-3 on the road, their last loss coming in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final (at the New York Rangers). The Lightning are taking advantage of chances and getting great goaltending from Bishop. The Blackhawks will need to figure out how to stop Tampa Bay’s road prowess on Wednesday.

NHL, NHLPA reach tentative agreement on Return to Play plan and CBA extension

NHL, NHLPA reach tentative agreement on Return to Play plan and CBA extension

One day after finalizing the protocols for Phases 3 and 4, the NHL and NHL Players' Association announced Monday that they have reached a tentative agreement on the Return to Play plan and Collective Bargaining Agreement extension that runs through the 2025-26 season and includes transition rules and a new critical dates calendar.

The tentative agreement is now subject to approval by the NHL's Board of Governors as well as the NHLPA's Executive Board followed by the league-wide NHLPA membership vote, which means the process could take roughly three-to-five days to finalize. Until then, it's only unofficially official.

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The NHL released three key dates in advance of the Return to Play plan and CBA ratification:

  • July 13 — Formal training camps open
  • July 26 — Teams travel to hub cities
  • Aug. 1 — Start of qualifying round

If all goes as planned, Blackhawks training camp will open at Fifth Third Arena exactly one week from Monday before the team heads to Edmonton, where they will take on the Oilers in a five-game play-in series.

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews participates in Monday's voluntary practice

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews participates in Monday's voluntary practice

On Monday, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews skated with teammates at the Hawks' practice facility for the first time since the NHL paused on March 11.

Teams have been allowed to hold small, voluntary group workouts since June 8 in accordance with the NHL's Return To Play plan. Blackhawks players first started showing up at Fifth Third Arena in Chicago on June 10.

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Patrick Kane and goalie Malcolm Subban, who have been regularly participating in the on and off-ice workouts since they began, were also on the ice with Toews Monday.

Related: Patrick Kane, several Blackhawks return to practice facility

Training camps are scheduled to start on July 13 for teams competing in the NHL's 24-team playoffs held in Edmonton and Toronto, the two hub cities.

The postseason, which has the Hawks facing the Oilers in a best-of-5 play-in series is slated to begin August 1.