Blackhawks Lose Corey Crawford, Beat Panthers

The Blackhawks handled their business with a dominant 6-2 victory over the Florida Panthers at the United Center. Chicago scored three power play goals and the penalty kill was perfect in five short-handed situations in an all-around beating.

Unfortunately, a good win will be overshadowed by a lower-body injury suffered by Corey Crawford in the first period. Crawford left the game and did not return.

Crawford hurt

The Hawks jumped to a quick lead after Tomas Kopecky made a dangerous, illegal hit on Niklas Hjalmarsson. Only 70 seconds into the game, Patrick Sharp scored a power play goal to put the Hawks on the board.

Sean Bergenheim was hit with two minor penalties for interference and unsportsmanlike conduct after a collision with Michal Rozsival later in the first. Brent Seabrook added the Hawks’ second power play goal of the first period late in the first minor penalty.

Crawford faced only four shots in 13:45, but wasn’t able to get up after making the fourth save. He left with his teammates up 2-0, and was replaced by Antti Raanta. Raanta made 28 saves against 30 shots in a solid relief appearance.

With their starting netminder out of the lineup, the offense continued to pour it on.

Marian Hossa scored only 37 seconds into the second period to give the Hawks a 3-0 lead, but “the most dangerous lead in hockey” proved to be too comfortable. Goals by former Blackhawks defenseman Dylan Olsen and Marcel Goc brought the Panthers back to within one by the middle of the frame, but that was the sum of the Florida offense.

Michal Handzus scored late in the second period to extend the Hawks lead back to two, and Chicago’s defense would shut the door from there.

Andrew Shaw returned from injury to make an immediate impact. He provided a great screen on Sharp’s goal in the first period, and tipped in another Sharp shot early in the third period for the Hawks’ fifth goal of the night. Brandon Saad added a breakaway goal late in the game to finish the scoring on the night.

The box score for Sunday night’s victory points to why the plus-minus statistic is useless. Jonathan Toews (two assists), Sharp (one goal, two assists) and Hossa (one goal, one assist) combined for seven points, but were minus-one each. Toews won 14 of 23 faceoffs and skated 21:25 in the win, while Hossa and Sharp were limited to 15:10 and 14:53 on the night, respectively.

Patrick Kane led the team with three assists, while Seabrook and Saad had one goal and one assist each. Saad added a team-leading three takeaways to his two points in an all-around solid effort. He started on a line with Shaw and Jeremy Morin;┬áMorin and Kris Versteeg were both credited with an assist on Saad’s goal as well.

Handzus won 11 of 20 faceoffs with his second goal of the season.

Chicago’s defense in front of Raanta was much better than in the three previous games. The Hawks were credited with 23 blocked shots as a team, led by four each from Hjalmarsson and Marcus Kruger.

Kruger was the target of a couple heavy hits from Krys Barch in the third period, who accepted an invitation to drop the gloves from Brandon Bollig. Bollig and Barch drew coincidental minor penalties earlier in the game, and continued to chirp while in their penalty boxes, but didn’t come to blows until there were just over nine minutes left in the game. Bollig was credited with three hits.

After the game, coach Joel Quenneville wouldn’t commit to a timetable for Crawford’s injury, as always saying “we’ll know more tomorrow.”

For Florida, Jimmy Hayes finished with a team-leading four hits and one blocked shot in 14:07, and Olsen added one blocked shot and one takeaway to his goal in 13:15 in the game. The Panthers had five power play opportunities and were unsuccessful on all of them.

The Hawks play in Dallas on Tuesday night.

ROSTER UPDATE: the Blackhawks recalled defenseman Mike Kostka from Rockford and activated him off IR before the game.

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34 Responses to Blackhawks Lose Corey Crawford, Beat Panthers

  1. JS says:

    Toews, Sharp, and Hossa dominated on the power play and were pretty even at even strength, which was the case (Corsi 52%). +/- isn’t the most useful stat, but over a long season it gives you a general idea.

    Bollig needs to stop fighting because he is terrible at it.

    Saad and Shaw were punished because Q didn’t want to give Morin shifts in a blow out against a terrible team.

    Sharp has taken a lot of stupid penalties behind the play this year. Someone should probably tell him to stop.

    Pretty worried about Crawford. I don’t want to think about what will happen if it’s a 4-6 week recovery. Hawks have nothing behind Raanta and will likely have to make a trade for a keeper… but then that will make things really confusing when Crawford and Khabi come back (since he seems pretty determined to come back).

  2. wall says:

    JS- Q will play Zus or BBank as Raanta’s backup- no worries.
    Right on 10′s/stupid penalties…

    SB is on the phone with Huet and Turco as I write… YIKES!!!

    This is going to be interesting… so much for my “Goaltending battle”.

  3. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    For all those who wanted to get a look at Raanta here is the chance, Crow did not look good after pulling something. Let’s hope its a goin and not a hip. A hip injury for a goalie is a HUGE concern. I wouldnt be shocked to see Crow out for atleast a month if its only the goin. If its the hip,….much longer. The Hawks will need to call up or trade for a backup if Crow goes on the LTIR

  4. ebonyraptor says:

    A win is a win and it came at a good time after dropping 3 straight, but Florida is not a good team, plus the win came at a high cost. If CC is out for a while it could be a season changer.

    Keeping my fingers crossed.

  5. Phil says:

    This was a game the Hawks should have won big and they got it done. PP and PK work was decisive and proved how special team play can turn a game around for better or worse. While it was an impressive win, the loss of Crow will cast a long shadow over the Hawks. Raanta has some big time work in the weeks coming up as I am afraid Corey badly tweaked a groin or a knee. I hope it is not a hip, but lets wait and see. Anyway Antii is our guy and let’s hope he can keep us in games. Hawks might double down on defensive efforts which might not be a bad thing as we all know they can score goals in bunches.

    Sharp is finally hitting the back of the net, and Kaner continues to rack up points. The return of Shaw was important as he is a really important piece of this team.

    Even though Leddy gave Hayes a little shove, why was Jimmy sticking his elbow up into Raanta’s head for? Big time cheap shot that could have had devastating consequences for the Hawks had Antii received a concussion. It’s one thing to run a goalie but delivering an elbow to the head like that is BS.

    Sorry JS, Bollig can fight, but players around the league know Bollig has a lethal left hand and uppercut. Consequently, most Bollig scrapes end up being wrestling affairs because other guys don’t want to throw punches with him. I am sure you will find something to disagree with what I have written but that’s ok.

    So it’s back to Dallas for what should be an intriguing re-match with the Stars considering the crazy game they played last week that might have been the most entertaining match of this season thus far. Maybe Roussel will finally lose the shield and be a real man in this league.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  6. JS says:

    I can’t remember the last fight that Bollig “won”. Besides maybe the time he jumped Polak and hit him 5 times before he took his gloves off. Or maybe his first fight this year against the guy from Washington… you know, when he pulled his jersey over his head and kept punching him. Bollig certainly isn’t a “heavyweight” in the hockey fighting world.

    And to say Roussel isn’t a “real man” because he wears a visor is just stupid. How many people have to get hit in the eye with a stick or a puck until they realize they need to be wearing one? Oh wait, that’s right. The league made it mandatory. Shea Webber is going to start wearing a visor. I guess he is no longer a “real man”.

    Wall- you already have your “goalie controversy” as far as the fans are concerned. A fair amount are silly enough to think that Raanta should be starting over a healthy Crow. I’m still very confused that Khabi is trying to return. He’s going to get paid regardless, he must have a terrible home life.

  7. wall says:

    JS- Khabby just doesn’t like to drink alone.
    and let’s hope Raanta plays so well… that when CC gets back – there is a controversy!!!
    Do I think Raanta should start over CC? No- do I think he COULD play well enough to earn that job- Yes.

  8. JS says:

    I’ll drink with Khabi any day.

    I think Raanta might be exploited against good teams. He loses his net on the regular and bites on any fake. I think he has the athleticism to make the spectacular save, but he needs to improve his positioning to be a good NHL goalie. That 5 hole goal against the Ducks was inexcusable.

    Also, what the hell was Shaw’s problem with Campbell yesterday? He took two really late runs at him and the one he got a penalty for could have been a lot worse. If Roussel did that to a Hawk we would be crying for a suspension.

    Phil- I guess I shouldn’t say that Bollig can’t fight, but I often see him outclassed.

    Anyone want to talk about the ridiculousness that was Bruins/Pens on Saturday? Kind of goes against the idea of the players policing themselves.

  9. wall says:

    JS- I do agree w/ losing net/athleticism – I think the kid will “learn” the 5 hole/NHL speed- also the playing the puck thing- Love his comment “I got an assist on the 2nd goal at least”…
    Read an article- Montoya predicted that the Shorter/smaller pads would lead to a lot of groin/hip injuries due to added stress on Butterfly goalies!!! Interesting.
    Is SB that smart- that he signed Rants (smaller, athletic type)????
    Rants looks so small compared to most Modern day goalies!!!

    Agree w/ Shaw- that was cheap on 51… also Roussell got jumped and turtles in 1st 90 seconds of game last weekend… so players are starting to notice this guy!!!

    Blue Jackets have a cheap young goalie… perhaps- hawks trade 37 or 11 for this kid- if Crow is gonna be 4 + weeks…

  10. RyanDale says:

    ^ Who would you not drink with is the question :)

    Strange anamoly last night while trying to follow game stats online, every site I went to was listing each goal in game was a ppg for the Hawks, and shg for Fla. When you see it your think wtf is going on at the UC? Even postgame at nhl.com it was reading 6ppg for us and 2shg for them. strange night for cyber stats, all buying into the same bad info

  11. wall says:

    Correction- “goalie pad/injury” article was either Montoya/DiPetrio – always confuse them.

  12. wall says:

    Uh-OH!!!

    Just noticed- next 4 games ( 2 pairs of back-to-backs)…
    those bums in AHL will not work!!!
    Hope SB doesn’t do anything impulsive (like signing a Pitcher to high $$$/long term deal) or (trades Prospects)…lol

    I heard Henrique Karlsson is driving an Ice cream truck in Sweden somewhere!!!

  13. JS says:

    That game on Sunday against LA is going to be a doozy. They’ve been playing incredible hockey since Quick went down. The Hawks should dominate Toronto and be able to spread out some time, but that isn’t going to happen unless Bickell is back.

    Crawford really lifted his leg gingerly getting off the ice, certainly has me worried. I hope Seabrook didn’t do it to him when they collided behind the play. Although, WGN never showed a replay so I have no idea how hard the contact was.

    And Zac Rinaldo was the guy that jumped Roussel. He got a game misconduct a minute in. Whoops.

  14. Phil says:

    JS you are cracking me up. Bollig IS considered a heavyweight. Maybe not by you, but by everyone I know that follows the NHL and knows something about hockey fights. Not that I’m saying you don’t. Yes, he been outclassed in some brawls, well maybe, but that gets pretty subjective. Secondly, you don’t get my visor comment. Of course, Roussel is a “manly” hockey player. he is tough as nails. However, if you are going to fight in the NHL it is considered lame to aggressively charge opposing players at the beginning of a fight and to lean in hard with a visor protected face. It is a huge advantage to players in a fight to have a visor. As for mandatory helmets, it is not a rule that affects Roussel at this time. He chooses to wear one. Shaw for example does not. These guys both came into the NHL last year. So I stand by my comment about Roussel. If you are going to fight as often as Roussel does, lose the visor or be ridiculed by fans and players alike. I have nothing against visors, shields. After a few broken noses playing and some close calls with sticks and pucks flying around the face I shifted to a cage years ago. I would not play without facial protection. This discussion though is not about visors being a good idea, it’s about guys wearing visors and being aggressive in fights with guys that aren’t wearing them.

    Raanta post game interview on WGN last night was very entertaining. Troy Murray does a phenomenal job with John on the radio broadcast, and I love the post game wrap up/player interviews on my drive home from the UC. It is top notch. CC injury was one of my concerns this year. Very tough to consistently win without your top keeper. At least it is early December and not the Spring. Crow should not be rushed back. We need him healthy for the stretch run and playoffs. Antii has his work cut out in the coming weeks. I heard Shaw offered to get in between the pipes last night if Raanta got been hurt. Hilarious to think about. You gotta love “shinpads”.

  15. RyanDale says:

    The Rousell incident over the weekend involved Flyers Zac Rinaldo so you have to consider the source. Zac’s game ended with :04 toi and 27 pim. Rousell, who was clearly jumped probly played it smart given the situation, and Dallas was rewarded with a 7min pp, tho never scored.

    Nothing good to say about Bos/Pitt. The kneeing penalty for Neal, which directed at another players head, would seem to warrant more than a 2min minor imo. Is there a case for that being an attempt to injure? Which means match penalty I believe. Maybe that’s too excessive?? Either way it was a cheap shot.

  16. Phil says:

    JS, you are right about Seabs being involved with the Crow injury. Looked like Brent accidentally slew footed Corey just before he went down trying to make a save that resulted in injury. Looked like he might have tweaked something then and wasn’t able to set himself right. A pity. Brent has been a bit slow of foot in our own end lately.

  17. JS says:

    We saw what happened when Bollig fought McGrattan. He has also been clowned by Reeves and Stewart. I can’t imagine what would happen if he fought Orr, Paros, Scott, or Chara. Size-wise he hangs with those guys… but most of his fights seem to be tug-o-war matches with very little punches being exchanged.

    I know Roussel isn’t grandfathered in to the visor, but I will never have a problem with someone wearing a visor, wanna be tough guy or not. Just because he’s willing to drop the gloves doesn’t mean he should put his quality of life on the line.

    Ryan- As far as I know, any penalty can be considered a major, and that knee should have been. It’s not the first time Neal has gone after someone’s head. I’m pretty disappointed he’s getting less than 5 games. For a game trying to get rid of headshots, I don’t think it can be more obvious than that.

  18. Phil says:

    JS, your point to Bollig-McGratton is very well taken. McGratton is a bad ass, and I put him up near Scotty. These are guys you basically don’t want to mess with unless you want a beating. Serious heavies. As I said though Bollig has a very good left hand, if he can ever get it free, and he has a deadly uppercut. The grappling comes more from opponents wanting to tie Bollig up than anything else. He can also take a punch, and is nowhere as big as most of the guys you mentioned who are really, really, big boys.

    I am happy that Bollig can play the game compared with some of the other enforcers in the league. His skills are much better than they were last year, but we all know what he is here for.

  19. JS says:

    Yeah, I think we’ve all mentioned it plenty of times. Ever since he’s stopped concerning himself with fighting every game, he’s become a much more well rounded hockey player. The fact that he’s being used as a shut down winger is incredible. Personally, I don’t think it can last… but may as well enjoy the ride as it’s happening.

    The “fourth line” has been getting really shelled in Corsi, but that is probably expected since they are going against top lines and almost always starting in the defensive zone. I think they do a pretty good job of keeping the play to the outside along the boards though… they are also typically paired with Hammer and Oduya, so that helps.

  20. RyanDale says:

    JS, what was the stat place you said you’d been using recently ? tnx

  21. JS says:

    extraskater.com It updates during the game but usually takes a couple minutes afterwards to post the completed stats. behindthenet.ca is pretty good too, just a little harder to navigate.

    I don’t think these advanced metrics are the be-all end-all, but I certainly think they help match what you are seeing to what is happening. It’s part of the reason I said both Toronto and Avalanche would fall apart and why the Canucks are better than their record indicated. And sure, part of Toronto’s struggles have been injury related, but they can’t even outshoot the Buffalo Sabers.

  22. Morrison says:

    Is Hayes on 1st line at BC, because that’s good ppg.

    Hinostroza putting up good numbers for a freshman.

  23. ebonyraptor says:

    Morrison – KHayes has been centering the 2nd line for most of the season, with Bill Arnold playing 1st line center. Johnny Gaudreau has played 1st line LW – so KHayes has put up those numbers without Gaudreau on his line. Then the last couple games BC loaded up and played KHayes on RW on the Gaudreau and Arnold line.

    Hinostroza is back after missing a bunch of games with an injury. I watched ND on TV a couple days ago and Hinostroza is small but really impressive – quick as a water bug with a motor that doesn’t stop. He’s probably not big enough to play in the NHL but he could be a very good college player before his career at ND is over.

  24. Morrison says:

    Thanks, eh.

    In a few years were going to have 8 centers in our 12 fw.

  25. wall says:

    ER- Hinostroza- made the College kids look dumb on a few plays… skates, sees plays at a way higher level than the competition… kind of surprised- both Motte and Hartman are being considered over him for US U20′s, to me this kid is equal or better (but I have very limited views of all)

  26. goldenbladz says:

    So it looks like Simpson is the Hwaks backup for now. Has anyone seen his play in Rockford?

  27. JS says:

    Goldenbladz – bad. Let’s hope Raanta can start back to back back to backs (that’s a lot of backs. I feel like Chris Berman).

    From what I’ve seen of Hinostroza I can’t help but be impressed. I just feel like the Hawks are building a team of highly skilled munchkins.

  28. wall says:

    JS- kind of Ironic- I was the guy always bitching for more size… and you always tried to bring me back to earth… BUT- I am seeing guys like 65, Marchand, Conacher succeed- they all have huge hearts- even guys like St. Louis (who is more skill than grit- but has an ASS like a nose tackle) can succeed if the small frame is BIG in the right places (Heart or ASS)- Motte is built a lot like St. Lou…
    PLUS- the NEW NHL- is less hit friendly and more skate friendly… I think SB is aware of this- and is Drafting accordingly…

    Of course best of both worlds- ya skate like Ovi or Hoss w/ 210lb. frame!!!

  29. JS says:

    Haha Wall, I know exactly what you mean. I don’t think size is the most important thing, but I like a balance, especially on your bottom 6. I do think the future of the league is playing the puck and a whole lot less body checking, but size does help get to some of the dirty areas and win board battles.

    But they also have Kevin Hayes (6’4″ 220), McNeil (6′ 210), Danault (who I think has added a good chunk of weight since training camp), Ross (6′ 190), etc. Hell, if Johns and Hayes ever play for the Hawks at the same time, that’s a whole lotta man.

  30. John Wangsauce says:

    I wonder if the scouts looking for that ASS also scout the UC for the shoot-the-puck competition.

  31. wall says:

    John Wang-Dang- sweet-poon-tang-sauce… Ya Think!!!!!!
    I hope the UC uses different scouts for that… or Hawks will be in trouble.
    Now THAT is marketing!!!

    JS- wonder if Q will put John’s 245lb. ASS in front of the goal for PP’s???

  32. goldenbladz says:

    Thanks JS. i haven’t heard much about Simpson. Would Carruth be a better choice?

  33. Morrison says:

    Why is the blackhawks website way off on the weight numbers. The boston college & Rockford sites are uptodate. The site has Hayes at 201, Teuvo at 169 & Danault at 184. When these guys are, at training camp, were 216,178 & 190…

  34. wall says:

    Morrison- Sssshhh!!! let’s not start a roid scandal!!!

    Goldenbladz… Carruth has been terrible!!!

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