Blackhawks Fall To Coyotes In Shootout

Mike Smith solved the Blackhawks again on Saturday night, and the Blackhawks lost to the Coyotes in the shootout.

It might be frustrating to admit (or write), but the Blackhawks are going through the motions right now. They have clinched the top seed in the Western Conference already, so the thing that’s really important about the remaining games in the regular season is staying healthy.

Against the Coyotes, the Hawks played soft. Chicago was credited with ten giveaways and took five minor penalties in the game; to the Hawks’ credit, they killed all five Phoenix powerplays in the game.

Marcus Kruger skated 6:06 short-handed, and Michael Frolik skated 5:39 on penalty kill duty, as they continued to lead the much-improved Blackhawks PK group. Niklas Hjalmarsson (6:23) and Duncan Keith (6:14) led Chicago defensemen in short-handed time.

Thankfully, the biggest area of concern for the Hawks, their powerplay, appears to be figuring something out. Both of Brent Seabrook’s goals came with a man advantage; the Hawks scored four powerplay goals in 48 hours after not scoring in their previous 20 opportunities.

Nick Leddy had another box score-filling game. He was credited with an assist on both of Seabrook’s goals, and also had two blocked shots, two hits and two takeaways. Seabrook, Keith and Johnny Oduya were credited with a team-high three blocks in the game.

Bryan Bickell led the team with four hits and four penalty minutes, while Dave Bolland led Chicago with three takeaways. Bolland only took five faceoffs in the game, winning two and losing three.

Jonathan Toews won 16 of 26 faceoffs in the game and was credited with two hits and one takeaway.

Between the pipes, Smith outplayed Corey Crawford once again. Crawford let in two ugly, soft goals in the first period, but played a much better third period; the Coyotes were credited with 31 shots in the game, 15 of which came in the third.

For Phoenix, Smith stopped 36 of 38 shots to earn an important second point for a Coyotes team that is desperately hanging on to playoff hope. Vancouver defeating Detroit in a shootout helped Phoenix, but they still have a tough hill to climb.

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19 Responses to Blackhawks Fall To Coyotes In Shootout

  1. EbonyRaptor says:

    Thank goodness they don’t have shootouts in the playoffs as Crawford looked like a flopping sockeye, on the same move three times. Calling Stephane Waite … time for another mind meld with your pupil.

    Beauty pass by Kaner on Seabrook’s 2nd goal.

    Saad-Toews-Hossa is one heckuva line. Too bad the Smith hex was on last night. I sure hope that Phoenix doesn’t find a way to finish 8th. I don’t know if I could bear the Hawks losing to that jerk again.

    If Milwaukee gets a point in their game with Peoria this afternoon, the Black Aces should get the call up. If Peoria wins in regulation, Pirri and the Hogs get to keep rolling. Go Peoria!

  2. 'hawks58 says:

    Everybody always says Crawford is awful at shootouts. Did you know he has a better Sv% on shootouts this year than Rinne, Quick, Howard, and Broduer; and before last nights 2 goals, he was ahead of Smith as well. This will be the first year he’s been below .800 in the shootout and I believe he also has yet to allow a goal on a penalty shot in his career.

    Sure, Emery has only given up 1 goal in 6 shootout attempts this year, but he was awful last year (and Crawford had a .813 Sv% on shootouts last year).

  3. RyanDale says:

    Slow day here. That shootout must’ve taken a toll on us all. I know it did me.That was ugly 3x over!

  4. RedRocket says:

    Seems to me that the opposition goalie has outplayed Crawford throughout the season, which might explain all the one goal victories. The Hawks rarely put anyone away.
    All too often the opponent has scored a soft goal or a goal late on the period to keep them in the game

  5. Sr. Brad says:

    Tab you are right…the Hawks essentially mailed one in…Toews all night looked out carefully so as not to take a big hit, and who can blame him…the Yotes will do it, and no will back Toews up…and he is the most valuable player in the league.

    Good efforts from the the “bottom two” lines…I really like Shaw’s game…if not for being robbed at least 10 times this season, and I mean absolutely robbed, Shaw might be closing in on 20 goals…he is a player for keeps.

    Bolland did NOT look good again…he still just seems lost out there, and as a 2nd line player, he is a waste to Kane and a liability. I don’t know what’s wrong, but it doesn’t appear its going to get fixed this season…

    All of you can say what you wish, but Crawford frightens me. He was better in the 3rd period, because after that 2nd goal the Hawks went into shut down mode to prevent any further gaffs…CC only faced 4 fricking shots in the 2nd period…no matter how good this team is, we won’t be able to do this to playoff teams…if CC suffers another mental blowout like this in the playoffs it might be one and done for the Hawks.

    You saw yet another repeat of last year’s 1st round bow out…the opposition goalie stood on his head, while our goalie actually let in goals from Centre ice. Other than the Emery game in Calgary, we have been outplayed in goal virtually every game this season…our 2 goalies have great stats because our team offence and defence is so good…that’s it…either Emery or CC are going to have to man up for the playoffs or we aren’t going anywhere. Crawford, more than anything else, needs to grow a pair, because he is SOFT.

  6. TJ says:

    Crawford has played well this year. Yes he falls forward on every shootout attempt and definitely needs some work on them, but the guy has been solid all year and deserves some credit. The fact that people are calling the Klesla goal from
    center a bad goal is ludicrous. That fluke shot is harder to stop than a blast from the point that is not wobbling and bouncing.

    Crawford will have to be great in the post season. He will be tested time and time again. He is the guy who will have to do it. Emery has good numbers this season but would look very average on an average team. Poor mobility and slow feet would be an issue on a team that doesn’t have such a great d as Chicago.

    Time for people to cheer Crawford on as opposed to finding something to complain about.

  7. Negzz says:

    Unfortunately, and as I’ve been saying ALL YEAR, I fear the Blackhawks are not going to win the cup if Crawford is the primary netminder. Stat up all you want to defend him, but there is simply nothing more depressing to a team than letting in soft goals when EVERYONE knows the games are tight and every goal counts in the playoffs. Neimi (regardless of the stats), very seldom let in soft goals and made many big/critical saves. He was not the best ever (as his stats showed), he was on a great team, BUT- he wasn’t the problem. Crawford is a back-breaker on a potentially dominant and great team. Don’t need to be great, just can’t suck.

  8. Dark Bird says:

    I, too, have incredibly little faith in Corey Crawford. He makes some big saves and has kept us in a couple of games here and there. But when the pressure is on, he simply isn’t reliable.

    And to that clown TJ who says our D isn’t good? Seriously dude, pull your head out of your ass. There’s a reason we’re #1 in GA and it certainly isn’t because of strong play between the pipes.

    Bowman seems intent on proving that this goalie tandem is good enough to win it, so if he’s wrong after this season I hope he seriously addresses it before this team loses it’s chance at another cup.

  9. JS says:

    (I think you are seeing things Dark Bird. TJ never said anything about the D)

    Sadly, I didn’t get to watch all of the game. I saw the replay of the shot from center that beat Crawford. Pretty sure the same thing happened to Osgood more than once. It happens.

    Deep breaths people. If Mike Smith doesn’t stand on his head (again), it’s an easy W for the Hawks.

  10. Dave says:

    I watched the Kings last night vs…. the Stars is there anyone out there that thinks L A cannot repeat

    DAVE

  11. Phil says:

    Well, Corey was not very good over the weekend. We need to see him better if the quest for the Cup is to go deep. Q faces tough choices regarding our netminder in the playoffs. I am sure he goes with Crawford to start with, but maybe Ray gets the call. I think Corey will be kept on a short lease though if bad ones start crossing the goal line once the playoffs start. Some people I spoke with over the weekend brought up the Huet saga and were trying to compare Crawford with Huet. I don’t see the correlation, since Huet just lost all confidence and had to be sat down. Corey does not appear to be there right now, but he has periods where he seems to get down on himself, like in the Phx game Saturday. When Corey is going good he seems to get riled up and presents a more challenging presence. Hopefully, he gets his mojo back in his next start which is likely to be tonight vs the Nucks.

    Power play goals are looking good. Bout time. Our team game remains very strong as the season winds down. If core guys stay healthy we can go far. Other teams know this of course and will send out the torpedo squads to pound our guys. I believe this Hawks team can step up the physical game as needed up front. Not so sure about our d men hitting more, but Seabs and Hammer must step it up along with Rozy. Other teams trying to run our guys usually back fires at it expends lots of energy. The Blues game last week was a good example of this. They beat us up for 1 period and were gassed. In the end it’s all about puck possession and that’s where the Hawks excel.

    I don’t want Columbus in the first round. They are playing good hockey right now and look like a confident bunch with a hot keeper. I’m antsy for the playoffs to begin.

  12. Tails says:

    The goalies are fine. To everyone saying ignore the stats, you’re just grasping at straws. When it comes down to it, what matters is goals for and goals against. The goalies are delivering in the goals against category. There’s no reason to think this will suddenly stop once the playoffs start.

  13. RyanDale says:

    This is really getting good. All the emotions, expectations and anticipation are coming to the fore. Anything less than a Cup is pretty much a failure. I’m guilty as they come when it involves hand wringing over our short comings. But lets face it, a lot of clubs would kill to be in our position. I can not wait to watch this unfold. Even in a short season it seems like the playoffs are taking forever to get here! As always, without good goal play you got no shot. My big wish right now is for Kaner to have the line play and support he deserves.

  14. Dark Bird says:

    My bad, misread what TJ wrote.

  15. Sr. Brad says:

    Crawford’s mental approach is definitely an issue, and anyone who says it isn’t hasn’t played goalie before…just the shootout alone will tell you this…PHO ran the SAME FRICKING MOVE 3 times in a row and CC fell forward the same way all 3 times. As for those bouncers going in from centre as “these things happen”, guess again. If you had ever played goalie you would know that one of the first things you are taught is to NEVER disregard a single shot, so even if the shot comes from centre, you square up and put your body in front of it…that’s goaltending 101…you do not lazily stick out your glove hand and try to catch a bouncing puck. The worst thing that should of happened is that the puck bounced up and hit CC on the shoulder. That goal CANNOT be allowed to go in…you can’t defend CC on this.

    Let’s just hope Emery gets healthy again.

  16. TJ says:

    Dark Bird,

    I was saying that the Hawks have a great d. Read carefully before jumping to conclusions.

  17. Shawn says:

    Everyone in the NHL knows that to beat Crawford, you just go high to the glove side. That fool drops to his knees when the other team crosses the blue line. I agree with all the Corey Dismissers: he’s the weak link. They should play Emery and not think a second thought about it.

  18. Sr. Brad says:

    Well, CC has the physical size and talent to be an elite NHL goalie, but its his mental game that holds him back…you can see it…he thinks too much out there…he’s twists himself up far too much, especially in the shootout…the best goalies in the history of this great league has been COOL CUCUMBERS…they stand up…they take proper angles…and they control rebounds…CC does NONE of these things well, and yet he is coached this day after day after day. Ultimately its up to Crawford to take the next step…he needs to become a steel trap mentally…if he does this, there would be nothing standing in his way from being a top goalie.

  19. Sr. Brad says:

    As a goalie, you shouldn’t guess, especially in the shootouts…stand up and follow the puck…when CC does this he excels…and your hear about from Q…he will comment that CC played “big” tonight…that’s CC not collapsing to his knees too soon and not giving the shooters anything to look at.

    In the shootout versus PHO, CC looked like a midget playing in a giant goal, while Smith looked like a giant protecting a miniature goal. It intimidates the shooters.

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