Blackhawks Shutout Predators, Finish Fantastic Road Trip

For the masses counting the days between Blackhawks shutout victories, hit the reset button.

On Sunday night, Corey Crawford kept all 16 shots he faced out of the net and the Hawks ended their long road trip with an incredible 10-0-2 record.

Crawford got plenty of help on Sunday, as the Hawks blocked almost as many shots (14) as Crawford was required to stop. Nick Leddy and Brent Seabrook led the way with three blocks each in a superb defensive effort.

Offensively, the game-winning goal was credited to Marcus Kruger, who beat Pekka Rinne at 6:14 in the second; Jonathan Toews deflected a Duncan Keith shot into the net 66 seconds later to push the Hawks’ lead to 2-0.

For Toews, it was his 150th career goal.

Patrick Kane extended his goal-scoring streak to five games with a pretty goal in the third that mirrored the Cup-winning goal from 2010.

On the blue line, coach Joel Quenneville spread out the ice time as well as at any point this season. Only one defenseman – Johnny Oduya – skated more than 21 minutes in the game and the other five were between 16:59 (Michal Rozsival) and 20:58 (Niklas Hjalmarsson).

Have we mentioned the zero goals scored by Nashville?

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9 Responses to Blackhawks Shutout Predators, Finish Fantastic Road Trip

  1. Taffy Abel says:

    Is the West weak? Or Bowman a mastermind? Im guessing that Yotes playoff loss has been stinging there arses all last year.(Overstated Overstatment I know)Grant it the Preds looked like they had no pulse on both sides of the puck,more so on the offense.17 shots? If I was Weber Id run to the Flyers.Itll be The Quebec Predators soon with games like that.Losing Suter hurt but good god.But hey fine with me.Im figuring most teams wont catch with them.Now 7 at home.Id imagine the schedule is just gonna be rougher farther along for all teams.

  2. Brad Stevenson says:

    Yeah, I am sure Nashville was tired, but they were at home and we have been on the road for a long time…it was a very good effort by all the Hawks including the coaches, who rolled 4 lines perfectly (Mayers skated over 10 minutes!) and dispersed the defensive pairings equally…this is going to pay huge dividends later in this shortened season as players like Toews, Hossa, Keith and Seabrook are going to be fresh for a playoff push.

    It is very nice to finally get a shutout…going all last season without one, was very telling…I think Q’s decision to roll 4 defensively sound lines was a big factor…we were fresh and not making mistakes while Nashville did.

    I thought Saad looked very good again…he had 4 shots on goal and drew a hooking penalty. He is fast, fast, fast out there and plays smart hockey…and I said it the other night, but I will repeat it again, I like all the young players on this team, especially Shaw and Kruger…very good hockey players…also nice to see Rozy out there again, we are a better team when he is in the lineup….

    Another great win!

  3. Mike says:

    Agreed, agreed. I just hope there is no let down tomorrow night. It would be easy for this confident group to pause at this moment. Win or lose Hawks need to play well tomorrow. 10-0-2 says you are for real, now the rest of the conference wants to see how bad the Hawks want it.

    Don’t get me wrong, Hawks are playing great consistent hockey. Sometimes it seems, however, the Hawks are charmed with good luck. There are going to be turnovers in the run and gun offense the Hawks use. But those unforced turnovers will eventually come back to bite them. One of the areas of improvement should be on the breakout when all 10 players are in the defensive zone.

  4. Tim G says:

    I could nitpick right now, but we are playing too good to not just sit back and enjoy it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  5. wall says:

    Agree Mike… the Hawks have had a lot of bounces/calls go there way so far this way.
    Also, the Road schedule has been kind w/ catching the Home team on Back-to-backs.

    I have said this before too- the officiating/hitting seems to really favor the faster teams that skate. We will have to see if the NHL “sticks” w/ this theme or not. Which greatly favors Hawks!

    To the same point- Eddie O stated several times last year that if the NHL really wants to get rid of the High-speed boarding type hits they should allow the players to grab and hold the player into the boards (with less speed) -slowing down the “O”- and getting rid of the “injury inducing type of hits”. Which brings me to my next comment- Rosey- #32 seems to be a bit slow (Sopel-Like)- but he really is smart and as strong as an ox- I counted several plays at blue line and behind the goal line where he just obliterated the “O”… these will not probably not count as hits… (Because he wasn’t skating) but that dude would be one hell of a wrestler- he literally pins guys to the boards.

    I wonder if the Hawks forwards bitched to the coaches about Rosey and how difficult he was to skate against last year!

  6. JS says:

    Rozsival scares me whenever he has the puck because he moves so damn slow, but he makes such smart decisions. Good thing he is paired with someone that can fly in case he ever needs the backup.

    Kane is playing on a different level right now. I’m actually disappointed when he touches the puck and doesn’t create a scoring chance. Absolute joy to watch.

    I love that Q can just roll 4 lines and have no concerns over matchups. Force other teams to play catchup the entire game. When Saad and Sharp start putting it in, they are going to be a scary(er) bunch.

    Biggest fear about this team is the lack of face off wins (outside of 19). I love the individual games of 36, 65, and 16… but god do they suck at draws.

  7. Brad Stevenson says:

    JS, its true, the lack of face off wins outside of Tazer is THE MAIN concern IMO. But remember that Shaw is virtually at 50% this season, and you know a young man with his intangibles is going to only get better at the dot…the same goes for Kruger…the big one is Bolland…as Tab pointed out, he is now rarely taking draws on the PK and his % is down to 42%…that’s a concern.

  8. JS says:

    People said Bolland would get better and he hasn’t. No guarantee they can get better.

    Biggest concern about draws on Bolland’s line is that they don’t get the puck back after they lose it. How much longer until Sharp is taking the draws?

  9. Tom Jaremka says:

    The thing that is really fantastic is our back checking, which is lead by a rookie, Brandon Saad. Even Kaner is coming ALL THE WAY BACK into our zone and disrupting the oppositions plays.

    In alot of the situations we are breaking up the play in the neutral zone and taking the turnover right back into our offensive zone. Our “team” defense is really doing very well and is much improved over last year.

    Let’s see how we handle Getzlaf, Ryan and Perry. This game is going to be a good test for the Hawks.

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