Yes, the refs blew a call that ultimately changed the outcome of the Blackhawks game in San Jose on Saturday night.
Yes, the ice surface was about as smooth as Chris Chelios’ face after another session in the tanning bed.
But excuses don’t matter when the final score doesn’t favor you, and the Blackhawks didn’t close the deal against the Sharks. They had plenty of quality chances but didn’t capitalize. Though they did get one point in the standings by taking the game to overtime, a second point was left on the ice.
And the loss ended a remarkable streak by rookie netminder Corey Crawford.
In his last nine starts (the full seven-game winning streak and bookend 2-1 losses), Crawford has been outstanding. In those nine games, he has allowed 18 goals, has a 1.98 goals against average and a stunning .926 save percentage. What makes those numbers even more impressive is that they include the five goals scored by St. Louis in Chicago on Nov. 30, a 7-5 Blackhawks victory.
The Hawks top two centers – Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp – have also been playing exceptional hockey. In the Blackhawks last ten games, both Toews and Sharp have nine points. Toews has won 64.4 percent of his faceoffs (134-74), while Sharp has won 53.3 percent (57-50) of his draws. The Hawks are 6-3-1 in those 10 games.