Corey Crawford, Blackhawks Continue Streaking

What a game!

The Blackhawks faced their toughest test of the season in Detroit on Sunday, but came away with two points because of an extraordinary effort from Corey Crawford.

Crawford stopped 32 of 33 shots, with 29 of his saves coming after the first period. He was, personally, the reason the Hawks had the opportunity to tie the game up late; if not for Crawford’s play, the Hawks could have easily lost by two or three goals.

However, Detroit’s Jimmy Howard was every bit Crawford’s equal in the game. He stopped the same 32 of 33 in the game, and allowed his Red Wings teammates to be in a game that was controlled by the Blackhawks through the first 30 minutes.

Sunday’s game had the look and feel of a postseason game, and the two netminders were worthy of the national audience.

Early in the third, Tomas Tatar skated past Daniel Carcillo to the front of the net and put the Wings on the board. For most of the third, it looked like that might be all Detroit needed to end the Blackhawks’ streak; neither goalie was letting anything through.

But late powerplay opportunities gave the Blackhawks life, and Patrick Kane tied the score off a nice pass from Viktor Stalberg with just over two minutes remaining in regulation. In the game, Chicago converted one of four powerplays, while Detroit was scoreless on two advantages.

For Kane, the goal 11th of the season and came at the tail end of a long day of hard work. With coach Joel Quenneville skating seven defensemen in the game, it was Kane that was asked to double-shift more than anyone else; Kane skated 23:29 in the game (second on the roster behind only Duncan Keith’s 24:43).

Sheldon Brookbank was called upon to be the team’s seventh defensemen (or 13th forward), but only took five shifts in the game. The Hawks’ fourth line didn’t see much action as a group. Daniel Carcillo had a bad game; he was minus-one and was called for hooking in the second period while only skating 8:02 in the game.

Appropriately, the overtime period continued the intense play back and forth and ended without either goaltender allowing a goal. So the game (unfortunately) was completed in the shootout.

Crawford was brilliant against Datsyuk, Damien Brunner and Zetterberg to earn the Hawks a second point. For Howard, the only Chicago player to solve him all day was Kane. But the Hawks superstar did it twice.

The Hawks were able to control the flow early by winning faceoffs, and had perhaps their best effort as a group at the dot of the season against a good Red Wings team. Jonathan Toews won 10 of 18 faceoffs, while Marcus Kruger won eight of 16 and Patrick Sharp won five of nine. Detroit relied heavily on Pavel Datsyuk (who won 12 of 24) and Henrik Zetterberg (who won only seven of 18).

Sunday was the ninth consecutive victory for the Blackhawks, tying a franchise record set Dec. 7-28, 2008.

Now 19-0-3, Chicago returns to the United Center to face the Wild on Tuesday night.

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22 Responses to Corey Crawford, Blackhawks Continue Streaking

  1. Sr. Brad says:

    Thanks for the report Tab…great game by CC…perhaps his best of the season…for the first time in a while he reminded of the same goalie we saw in the Vancouver playoff series 2 years ago…he was in a zone…excellent in the SO as well…

    Bizarre decision by Q to dress 7 DMen and sacrifice the 4th line…Q has never been very good with personnel decisions, and this was another example…I thought that Kane, although he skated a lot of minutes, was not the most effective forward against the physical, tight checking wings…we would have been much better off having a bruising 4th line giving us 7+ minutes than what we got…

    The “3rd line” was our best once again…they had a chance to score almost every time on the ice…and young Shaw is beginning to remind me a lot of a young Doug Gilmour…Shaw is very underrated as an offensive player, and the symmetry that he, Bicks and Stahlberg are skating with is very impressive…the 2nd line is listless without Bolland out there…and obviously the 4th line isn’t near what it was without Kruger…hopefully Bolland will be back this week.

    I wanted to give a specific shout out to Stahlberg…he has always taken a fair beating on this board, and we can all eat our words…he has turned into a very good all around hockey player…his speed and hustle are incredibly impressive…he hits everything in sight, takes the body to finish checks, and back checks with a vengeance…plus his offensive game is coming around as well…our 3rd line is as good as any other teams 2nd line, giving us (when Bolly is healthy) 2 first lines a 2nd line and when Kruger is back there, a 3rd line…and thus our record as we create huge mismatches at almost every turn.

    Another great win by the Hawks, and now a tough week with a lot of games…please get healthy Mr. Bolland!

  2. wall says:

    Get healthy Bolly and Hawks GM needs to bring up some talent ( Hayes/Smith/Morin) to skate and “tryout” on 4th line…

    But because we are winning… the Brass will most likely opt to do nothing… can’t blame them- but really would like to see + get someone some experience in case of some injuries later-

    Yes, 3rd line looked great again… And When did Bickell become such a great playmaker? He has made some highlite no look passes in the last 3-4 games.

    Rosey is awesome w/ puck in Offensive zone… ALL of the other D-men should take notes!!! How can a guy that slow hold the puck for that long??? PATIENCE young Grasshoppers!!! (Leddy, Hammer, Saad) Patience!!!!

  3. Tab Bamford says:

    Let’s take a step back from the Quenneville bashing for just a second and think 2-3 weeks down the road. The Hawks aren’t too far away from sending Bollig to Rockford (finally) and having a healthy Steve Montador sitting as the 7th/8th defenseman. If there’s a time down the road that an injury/illness forces a forward out of the lineup, it isn’t crazy to see a time that the Hawks need to dress seven defensemen. While experimenting with the lineup in Detroit and not against Columbus at the UC doesn’t make a lot of sense, testing the scenario isn’t completely crazy. We also don’t know if anyone’s sick or playing banged up that might make the coaches dress Brookbank instead of Bollig/Mayers.

    It’s funny… you think back 24 months and the Hawks had to drive kids back and forth from Rockford because they couldn’t afford to carry more than the minimum on the roster; now, the Hawks have 26-27 guys that could be in the NHL in the organization and they actually have the cap space to keep them all on the NHL roster.

    wall: I agree there are a few guys in Rockford – specifically Hayes, Smith and Morin – that I would rather see in Chicago than Bollig. But when Bolland comes back, anyone called up would have to push someone else to the bench. Who do you sit for the so-called “tryout?” (fwiw, I have no problem with one of those kids skating in the place of Mayers and/or Carcillo.)

  4. torourke says:

    I was just reading over at ESPN and at the game notes at the bottom it says that the Hawks expect Bolland to be in the lineup for the game against the Wild. If true, then that would be great.

    What makes this streak so impressive is how they have managed to will themselves to win in difficult situations. It would be one thing if they were just uber talented and blew everyone away, but they are playing some good teams and winning close games with two-way hockey, great goaltending, and grit. That bodes well for the future.

    I also thought Roszival was great. What a pick up that was.

  5. Sr. Brad says:

    That’s not Q bashing…he has a history of questionable personnel decisions and lineup changes…he has been really consistent this season, and it has paid off…and the suggestion of experimenting with a 7th DMan is ridiculous when you have Smith, Hayes, Morin, and Pirri in Rockford, as well as Mayes and Bollig…it hurt us today, and yet we still won…so I don’t want to dwell on any negatives…Q is an excellent technical coach, and is coaching very well…the team competes on EVERY shift and this streak is amazing…kudos to everyone within the organization!!!

  6. McKay says:

    I think this was a good game to experiment with a 7-defensemen line up. Detroit doesn’t fight so you don’t need Bollig or Mayers. You could see our forwards sucking air towards the end of the second and into the third and that was a great test for them.

    Win or lose (very happy we won), that was one of the best regular season games I’ve ever seen. Playoff atmosphere. Savvy opponent. A rivalry game with The Streak on the line. 3rd game in 4th night with basically a short bench. Well done Hawks.

    The 12th forward, whether it’s Mayer, Bollig, Carcillo, or Morin/Hayes/Smith… that guy needs to be extremely physical. If Bolly recovers and remains healthy, then Krugs is probably relegated back to 4 with his buddy Frolik. Frolik is fast and some-what physical but doesn’t intimidate. We need another intimidator (in addition to the entire 3rd line) when it comes to Anaheim, St. Louis, Vancouver, and LA in the playoffs.

  7. Mike says:

    Hawks just completed the fist of two back to back 3 in 4. They looked a little tired the second half of the game. This week will be just as tough. A little less ice time for some is a big help. But, Hawks need the lead to make that work. Not so the last 2 games. Carcillo, unfortunately, has turned out to be a liability. I think he was on the ice for the last 3 goals against, all 5 on 5. I am not sure he is the answer to anything going forward. I can live with Saad’s mistakes from lack of experience. I think shuffling Saad up and down lines would work better with almost any other Hawk winger.

    Hawks young future NHLers are getting big important leadership minutes in Rockford. Saad could have used more time there if the situation were different. Leddy too. Shaw is the exception. He is one that really understands the whole game at such a young age. However, some Rockford shuffling may be in order to replace Carcillo and Bolig.

  8. JS says:

    It’s a struggle to find something wrong with this team. Outside of Carcillo, everyone is putting in work. Thankfully Q realized Carcillo is bad at hockey and moved him back to a 10 minute a game roll. I do think he’ll be good to have on the 4th line once Kruger is back in the middle, but keep him away from the top 6!

    Kane may have scored the game winner, but that goal doesn’t happen without the amazing play by Stalberg. I’m glad his skills are starting to catch up to his dazzling good looks.

    What more can be said about Crawford? He’s in such a zone right now it’s scary. If he keeps playing this way they might end up 45-0-3. I had no idea he was as athletic as he showcased yesterday. On that Brunner shootout goal, I don’t think Brunner realized how fast he could pop back up after dropping down. He’s starting to read plays and predict where the puck is going to be coming from. Absolutely awesome to watch. He even almost gloved the puck that went in.

    Bolland is sorely missed. That second line hasn’t been nearly as effective without him. I would still like to push him off for a more offensive 2C, but you can’t have everything you want!

    Montador is probably one more hit in the head away from LTIR. Not sure why the guy is even coming back.

    On the guys from Rockford: There is basically one open roster spot for a 8 minute a night guy. Are the kids better suited getting their experience and waiting until next year? I think that’s the benefit of a guy like Bollig. He has enough skill to play the NHL game, but you won’t regret losing him.

  9. Sr. Brad says:

    As JS said, there is a roster spot open for a guy to plus 8 minutes a night…is that Bollig? Mayers? Both are obviously adequate as we are undefeated. But I agree that Ben Smith, Jimmy Hayes and/or Jeremy Morin would all be better options than Carcillo, Mayers, or Bollig…plus, we are developing another player who can be a true Top 6 player…we are fooling ourselves if we think Carcillo is…

    But like Wall said, it is unlikely that any Rockford player will make the leap past these 3 veterans…when Bolly comes back, Carillo is the winger on the Kruger/Frolik line…Bollig goes back to Rockford and Mayers rotates in from time to time. We are undefeated with this lineup, and it does give us an element of grit and toughness…plus Carcillo will only get better as he knee progresses.

    Finally, I am surprised more people aren’t taking about Stahlberg and the 3rd line…THEY are THE main reason why we are back to the 2010 team…they have given us the Bolly/Versteeg/Laad monster line that put us over the top with depth…and the Kruger/Frolik/Carcillo line is ridiculous as a 4th grouping…over the last few weeks, when together, they have dominated opposing FIRST lines with their ice time.

    As long as CC and Emery keep this up, I can’t see the Hawks losing more than a single handful of games this year…they are just too deep in talent…and kudos must be given to Stan Bowman…he stuck with Bickell when we are were screaming about his inconsistency…he traded Versteeg for Stahlberg…right now, who would you rather have going forward??? He drafted Andrew Shaw in the 5th round, and fought to have him be given a legitimate shot at training camp last year…he drafted Kruger in the 5th round, and fought to bring this kid over here, and give him ice time with the big club…he traded a wasted former #1 draft pick for Frolik…now Frolik may never regain his 20 goal/season abilities, but how many players are more valuable on this team than he is??? Not tons…he didn’t go out and get a 2nd line centre, forcing Q’s hand to play Bolland on the 2nd line (which Bolland’s Junior career told us he could be), he drafted Saad in the 2nd FREAKING ROUND, and put his neck and reputation on the line as he touted Saad to everyone and everything that would listen…now Saad looks like a lock to become a legit Top 6 forward for the rest of his career. He traded very little to get Jimmy Hayes from Toronto…Hayes is quietly becoming a monster in Rockford, and he is 6’6″…he traded Ladd for Morin, took the heat for it, stayed patient as Morin struggled with his health and then his game, and now Morin is looking like at legit Pro at Rockford. He drafted TT from Finland at #18 overall in Finland…sure he was eye popping at #18, but he was just as eye popping at #17, but no one took him…he drafted Garrett Ross in the 5th round this past year and I can promise you he is Andrew Shaw version 2.0…he signed Ben Smith to a Free Agent contract and Smith is a for sure NHL player.

    Yes, he has missed on his Free Agents, and his patience sacrificed a couple of seasons, but a lot of that was just trying to deal with the contract/cap mess that he inherited from Dale Tallon (who did a good job building an NHL champion)…also, Q was not on the same page as Bowman, especially last year, which cost us games…so he publicly supported Q, gave him control of his own coaching staff, BUT left him essentially with the same team, forcing Q (much the same way Billy Beane does with his coaches in Oakland) to adjust his perceptions and usage of the talent that Bowman believes in…it really has been a masterful thing to watch take place…and as much as the players and the coaches should take bows for this season, so should Stan Bowman, who showed all of us, that he is a chip off the old block and knows what he is doing!

  10. wall says:

    SR. Brad- well said… I agree with most of what you said-

    To me the only real misses from Bowman were Morin (I don’t think he skates well enough for a Hawks team!)- and McNeil 1st pick!!! But of course he did steal Saad later.

    Also, I think Hinostroza, Ross, and TT are sleeper/steals!

    But comparing 2010 to this year… I still would take Ladd, Buff, Versteeg, Brouwer ( Cap issues put aside) over 16, Shaw, Saad, Stahlberg- talent wise and size wise! With that said, the latter mentioned probably have more speed and I.Q. (excluding Ladd)… it will come down to drive and Heart!!!! And how much the latter matures because they are much younger!!!

  11. Tim G says:

    My 2 cents on the 12th FWD spot…

    Yes, Hayes/Smith/Morin are all capable players and could be active players on this roster. but lets put this in perspective. We are talking about 8 minutes. Right now, we do not have a hole in our PK, so no time there. Maybe we could add a player to the PP rotation to get a spark so maybe an extra minute a game.

    Do you want a player who may ultimately join the roster as a 13-15 minutes guy playing 8 minutes on the 4th line and little to nothing on the special teams, or getting more substantial playing time in Rockford. The extra playing time might go further in a guys development. With Bolland heathly, Carcillo/Mayers/Bollig do enough to play that 8 minute role. We shouldn’t be trying to replace the 12th guy if we dont have to.

    I would not be opposed to bringing up a guy (Hayes/Smith/Morin) just to play a game or 2 so they have some familiarity with the partent club in the event we lose someone come playoff time. But as far as the long term, I think Hayes would get more out of playing full time in Rockford. He would be the guy replacing Bickell if Bicks prices himself out of resign range (the way Brower did). Playing 7-9 minutes every other game with us doesn’t prep him for that role.

    Let’s just get Bolly Healthy can keep it rolling!

  12. Mike says:

    Bowman has done a good job rebuilding a team around the high price stars. Of course he made a few mistakes, but the positives are working out well. For me, the biggest loss was Ladd. Tough, talented, young with great leadership. I hope he has a great career.

    Hawks will face cap issues next year resigning Stalberg, Bickell, Kruger and Rosival if the cap is actually lowered. The Rockford guys are coming……

    Hey, maybe Obama should appoint Bowman for Sec of the Treasury

  13. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    What a game! If the Hawks are getting this Crow all season set up the parade route now! Seriously what a game for Crow, he looked amazing and Kane looks like a guy playing on another level right now! Its always nice to beat Detroit. Say what you want about Vancouver but I am old enough to absolutely dispise the winged wheel!

  14. Dave says:

    I would never take Byfuglien over anyone!

  15. wall says:

    Dave, really? His PP net presence is/was unsurpassed during cup run!!!
    Yes, he can be lazy… but he wasn’t during playoffs!!!

    And that was Crow’s best performance of the year!

  16. Tab Bamford says:

    re: wall’s comment about the bottom six from 2010 vs this year – let’s take a step back and consider the players we’re comparing. Ladd already had a ring and Buff, Versteeg and Brouwer had been in the organization/with the team in the NHL for some time. When last season started, Saad was playing junior hockey, Shaw was a 5th round pick with an AHL contract and Kruger was a kid who had only a handful of playoff games under his belt after playing in Europe. It’s hard for me to compare where these kids are with the 3rd line guys in 2010 because that group had spent a few years together in the NHL before they won it all. (Personal note: I see a lot of Ladd in Saad, and really hope he matures along the same path.)

    re: Brad’s comment about Bowman missing on free agents – I know I’ve said this a couple times before, but it’s hard to say a guy “missed” on free agents when he had a very specific plan in place. Sure, it would have been nice to have Erik Cole instead of Brunette last year… but then we’d have him on the books for two more years after this at $4.5M per and even fewer spots on the roster for upcoming prospects. We have to be mindful of not only the cap, but the market in which these free agents are signing; Bowman can only sign guys that will take the deals he is putting on the table(s). The one free agent deal that I really question is bringing back Carcillo; he served multiple suspensions last season and hurt himself trying to injure an opponent. imo, it’s hypocritical for any team to complain about cheap shots that pays someone notorious of that very thing (cough… Pittsburgh…). So while we hate when guys take a run at one of the Hawks’ stars, Carcillo’s track record indicates he’s guilty of that same kind of play.

  17. Mike says:

    Tab, agreed. You can see a lot of Ladd in Saad. Hard to believe Ladd has been around so long and is only 27. I hope he develops along those lines as well. I think Ladd has missed only 1 game in the past 4 or 5 years.

  18. EbonyRaptor says:

    I’ve (finally) come to the point where I believe in our goaltending tandem. And what I mean by that is that I (finally) believe in Crawford and Emery is good enough to fill in the gaps when Crawford needs a game off. At this point, it’s about riding the momentum and getting the best playoff position possible and then turning the reigns over to Crawford in the playoffs.

    Coming into this season, actually coming into the last few seasons, goaltending was the biggest concern, followed closely and connected to team defense. Now, after 22 games, the Hawks are the best defensive team and have the best goalie tandem in the league. I suspect that the perception of the Hawks by most hockey fans is a high flying offensive team, and that is not inaccurate, but what really is the surprising main reason the Hawks are playing so well is defense and goaltending.

    The comparison between this team and 2009/10 is not so much individual player comparisons as it is that both teams were top-5 in the league offensively and more significantly defensively.

    Defense wins championships and I’m starting to believe.

  19. Phil says:

    Yesterday’s game was very entertaining. A showcase game for NHL hockey. Hawks remain extremely resilient and patient, especially in our own end. I think Carcillo either sits or moves down to the 4th line. He was noticeably bad with own end coverage yesterday. Can’t say enough about Bicks, Stahlberg, and Shaw. These guys keep bringing it and are causing a world of pain for other teams. Consistency on the PP is the last piece of the puzzle. While it probably doesn’t matter to the players, as a fan I was really happy the streak has not been ended by Van, Blues, or Wings. Let’s keep it rolling.

  20. Sr. Brad says:

    Tab, I agree with your comments on Carcillo…it is hypocritical…I would rather see Jimmy Hayes on the roster, as not only could he take that 12th man role on the 4th line, but he could skate PP minutes on the 2nd unit, getting in front of the net…

    Great comments Wall…

  21. Moonshiner says:

    I guess it is a time to extend Stalberg (approx. 2,5 mil.?) and Bickell (below 2 mil.?) – for 2-3 years to not loose them for nothing. It will allow hawks to trade 1 of them or both after next season based on the winger prospects progression (Smith, Hayes, Morin, TT).
    I guess Olesz will be bought out for sure this summer and I would suggest to trade away Bolland (injury prone) and Frolik (hands of stone), as they will have 1 year remaining on their deals and hawks will need cap space to re-sign Kruger and Leddy.
    As a return a young center would be great (Drew Shore, Lars Eller etc.) + young big Dman (Brenden Dillon, Jake Muzzin, Tomas Kundratek etc.). Sure we can use the prospects or picks to sweeten the deal, if necessary…
    Montador’s situation is a bit unclear now, he is a buy out candidate, but if he will return soon and show he can play, I can see some small market team take a flyer on him for a low pick or as the throw in for Bolland / Frolik trade, as he will have 2 years remaining on his contract for just 2,3 and 1,8 mil.
    2013/14 lineup:
    Saad – Toews – Hossa
    Sharp – Shaw – Kane
    Bickell – Kruger – Stalberg
    Carcillo – young C via trade – Smith
    Bollig / Hayes / Morin / Pirri
    Keith – Seabrook
    Hjalmarsson – Oduya
    Leddy – young D via trade
    Brookbank / Clendening
    Crawford (Karlsson)

  22. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    I agree Moonshiner its absolutely necessary to keep this 3rd line together since they have been so good for this team moving forward, and they are a young trio too. I also agree with you about Bolland, however, they need to get a center back in the deal or a top prospect because I dont think Kruger can handle the 2nd line center duties. It would be nice if Danault or ONeil can handle the 2nd line center roll but that remains to be seen. Go Hawks! I feel the 1st loss coming this week against lesser teams.

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