Corey Crawford, Blackhawks Escape Vancouver Victorious

The Blackhawks needed only nine seconds to generate enough offense to overcome the Canucks in Vancouver on Saturday night.

Both Corey Crawford and Roberto Luongo were fantastic, but it was Crawford that won the night, emerging with a 2-1 victory.

Crawford VAN

Goals by Andrew Shaw and Marcus Kruger only nine seconds apart early in the third period were the sum of the Blackhawks’ offense, but the two goals were enough. Crawford stopped 36 of 37 to pick up his league-leading 15th win of the season.

Crawford has now appeared in 14 straight Blackhawks games, but Saturday night was one of his better performances of the season.

Vancouver’s only goal came from Ryan Kesler while the Canucks had a two-man advantage late in the first period. With Brandon Saad already in the box, Shaw was called for tripping to give the Canucks the 5-on-3.

The Hawks killed the Canucks’ two other penalties on the night, but were unsuccessful on their two power plays.

Late in the third period, Alex Edler got his money’s worth slashing Jonathan Toews in front of the Vancouver net, and it took Chicago’s captain some time to get up. He appeared to be uncomfortable on the bench, but returned to take a few key faceoffs later in the period.

Toews won 10 of 19 faceoffs to lead another strong performance at the dot. Ben Smith had another strong game, which included winning five of seven faceoffs. He wasn’t credited with an assist on Kruger’s goal, but he chipped the puck up the ice to Kruger to create the scoring chance.

Kruger and Brandon Pirri both won six of 10 faceoffs in the game. Patrick Kane recorded an assist, extending his personal point streak to 10 games.

Brent Seabrook was the Hawks’ most physical player in a surprisingly tame game. Seabrook was credited with three hits and three blocked shots. Duncan Keith had a strong game next to Seabrook, skating a team-leading 24:39 with two blocked shots, two takeaways, one hit and one assist.

But the story of the game was Crawford, who was tested throughout and showed better rebound control than he had on occasions in recent games.

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17 Responses to Corey Crawford, Blackhawks Escape Vancouver Victorious

  1. Mining Man says:

    Crawford’s best game of the year. Keith and Hjalmarsson were outstanding. Toews once again was solid despite the very rough treatment by the Canucks. The third period resembled a playoff game and you could feel the determination on both sides. Solid effort by Smith and a beauty goal by Kruger. Vancouver pinched after Chicago’s first goal, not a smart move, and Smith/Kruger showed their hockey smarts and made them pay for it. Despite the onslaught from Vancouver for the last ten minutes of the third Crawford was unyielding. This is very encouraging going forward. 1 goal against is the Blackhawks we have come to love. All this despite Hossa…folks we are looking good!

  2. RyanDale says:

    Very entertaining game and for the most clean and well played by both. CC was brilliant and no doubt dug deep to come up with such a big effort with his recent workload. Luongo was also in a position to steal the game. I liked the the defensive effort overall even though shots were coming all night long. Great individual plays on both goals though Stanton assisted by pinching at the worst possible time given that the previous goal was just 9 sec prior. Still a short leash for 11 with under 5 min. He did make a strong move to the net to draw a penalty on Kesler 2 min into the 3rd and we tied it just seconds after Kesler was released from box. After that, 11 was given 27 sec of ice time!

    Outside of another period of poor penalties like in WPG we played an excellent road game, very reminiscent of last years norm which is encouraging and hopefully a sign of things to come. Also,any win w/out 81 is a welcome one, lets hope things are ok at the House of Hoss . Some national chatter been going on about 2 playing near, at or even above 2010 levels. Tonight you could have made a pretty good case for it. he was spot on.

  3. ebonyraptor says:

    Victory is always sweet but it’s even sweeter when it comes again these guys.

    Hopefully this bolsters CC’s confidence as it seemed to be sagging a bit lately. So the question is whether Q should start CC next game and ride this performance or give him the night off and let him rest on this good note?

    Nice to get a win when the 3rd and 4th lines provide the only goals.

    Hopefully all is well with Hossa’s family. Family comes first and rightfully so, but sure hope he’s back Monday.

    The West is crazy – 7 of the top-8 teams got points tonight with only Phoenix coming away emptyhanded. I can’t imaging this will continue all season long, but right now getting to 100 points may not even get you into the playoffs in the West.

  4. Phil says:

    Great game to watch as it was up and down the ice for both teams. I thought the Hawks generated more quality chances, but the Nucks had plenty around the Hawks net, and we were fortunate to get some bounces our way. Corey was in top form last night, after looking a bit deflated often the past 2 weeks. Clearly, he was up for this one. All in all a very satisfying road win.

    I took away from this game the feeling that Vancouver just just not bring the same level of nasty that used to be a trademark for this organization. Sure, many of the usual suspects remain. I loathe Kesler, Bieksa, Burrows, Hansen, and for that matter the Sedin’s. It could be that without Vigneault some of the venom that infected this team is now gone. Torts mixes up his lines alot, unlike what AV used to roll. It looked to me like the Sedin’s were both coasting last night. I saw little of their offensive capabilities on display last night. Those guys are usually in lurk mode dangerous. It could be that they were given less space than normal by what appeared to be a pretty smothering team D mentality of the Hawks. Still you can’t play the Nucks, and get not get chopped, face washed, or punched in the face when you play Bieksa, who never misses a beat. One thing I noticed last night was a glaring lack of speed on the Nucks back line. Compared to our D corps, these guys look like they are skating in quicksand. Nucks gave the puck away like it had poison all night. To his credit, Bobby Lu kept them the game though, just like Corey protected the lead in the third for the Hawks.

    How could not the slash and crosscheck Edler delivered to Toews not get called late? Mean and vicious shots, right in front of everyone. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Capt. has some bruised ribs from the crosscheck. He was really hurting. ON a side note, during the 3rd period, did you see Burrows shrink away when Hammer looked ready to come after him? What a piece of work that clown is. Some things never change.

    I am liking the face-off improvement from the Hawks. I don’t care if they are cheating a little to get an advantage. Everyone else does it so why not us? Some big late 3rd period draw wins were key. IMO this is one area where there some real progress is being made. I also think the PP is generating many more positive looks and chances. If the Hawks PP ever gets rolling some blow outs will appear. I thought our young guys played well last night, especially Smith. Morin looked more confident too.

    Despite no Hossa this was a big team d win for the Hawks. Hope Hoss is back tomorrow, but as stated above family comes first.

    Let’s hope the Hawks keep this mindset going into Edmonton and Calgary. In recent years have we not struggled playing these arenas? Antii I am sure gets a look tomorrow.

  5. wall says:

    CC and Lou had very strong games… CC – that was the most focused he has played since last year’s PO’s… rebound control and Puck tracking were great… BUT – the biggest difference – the shooters did not have the xtra full second in time and space to pick their corners- due to much better Team positioning in front of Crow!!!

    On the other side- Lou probably made better saves… but really- the Hawks had more time and space and SHOULD have potted 3-4 more goals… 37, 16 passed on 2-1’s with wide open shots… 88,37 shot one timers into the center of the goalie/net…

    But- agree- nice pace to the game… I thought the Hawks were flying/crisp on passing..

    The 4th line which has been great most of year- except for the 3-4 game stretch where they lost to Preds,Avs… 16,28 were great… Can’t imagine how good that line could be w/ a real 3rd wheel…

    I thought Morin had a lot of jump… 5 min.??? AND even more surprising 17 probably played his best game as a forward this year- (for around 5 min.)

    Nordstrom- scored 2 for Hogs… I really loved this kid’s game… Can’t someone get him on the Barry Bonds/A-Rod special diet???

    Hope all is well w/ 81 and family… I know his family just had their 2nd daughter!!!

  6. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Solid effort. Crawford came up huge, though in honesty a lot of the shots by Vancouver were straightforward handles.

    It will be good to get Handzus back. Creates some flexibility with line combos that I like. The one thing that nags me about this team is that we really need an injection of speed at the forward spot…hence why I hope Danault and/or Nordstrom arrive on the doorstep pretty soon.

    Edmonton will be interesting as always. Too interesting. THey have a lot of speed and will come at us, just like the Avalanche. Would assume Raanta gets the nod.

  7. JS says:

    Q and Torts both REALLY wanted to win that game last night. How often do you see Q change lines on the fly like that? Typically it doesn’t matter who they are playing, he just lets the line that he puts out there finish their shift. Shows the amount of respect he has for them.

    And of course CC was going to start because we all called it…. and I guess it was a smart move! Best game of the year. Apparently, in 2011, Crawford started 31 games in a row. The last 24 of the regular season, and all 7 in the playoffs. Really, if not for both goalies playing a phenomenal game, the score would have been a lot higher.

    Handzus coming back will be nice, as long as he doesn’t play every game… but knowing I’m sure he’ll be back to 2C in no time and Patrick Kane will go back to being useless. For a team in need of more speed, Handzus is not going to help.

    Shaw made two completely infuriating/lazy plays. The one that sent them down 2 was just absolutely ridiculous and then the icing after a long shift was just stupid and lazy. But that’s alright, he was rewarded by being bumped to the second line even though Pirri was having a fantastic game.

    Pirri made a handful of fantastic defensive plays and some really slick offensive plays along the boards. He needs to start burying some of those chances he gets. I would have liked to see him shoot on the 2 on 1 he had with Kane… but he’d probably get released if he didn’t give the puck to Kane on a 2 on 1.

  8. ebonyraptor says:

    Wall – the good news is Nordstrom tallied twice, the bad news is the Hogs gave up 4 (of 6) on the PK – MERCY!

    I’ve been one that has dismissed Smith as just one of those “journeyman that won’t hurt you” types and while I still think he is going to be replaced with some other prospect, if not this year then next, I have to give him his due, he has played pretty well lately. Keep it up kid – that level of play makes the 4th line a whol lot more dangerous. Oh and by the way, he did pretty good at the dot too.

  9. Sr. Brad says:

    That was a huge game for the Hawks coaches and players…who could see it in their faces and how the played/managed the game…on the road with injuries mounting up…Hossa out for personal reasons at the last second, having to used 3 rookies and a DMan as a forward, being down all game, and being stoned by Fatboy gave the Hawks a lot of reasons to lose a close, hard fought game…but they didn’t…that win is the crowning moment so far this season, as VAN really wanted this one…

    CC was dynamite…and as Phil, Wall and JS said, he was as focused as he was in last year’s playoffs…tired or not, CC he was on top of his game with outstanding rebound control and positioning…the only goal that beat him, during the 5 on 3, he had little chance, but got across to be in position after a fantastic pad save…in fact, if CC doesn’t come across as fast as he did, he probably saves the shot. Now that was $6 million dollars a year goaltending…Thanks Corey!

    Great game by the Hawks D, especially Hammer and Keith…Duncan was OUTSTANDING doing everything right, until he got on the PP…I am not sure why he struggles there, but he looks a little uncomfortable on the PP for whatever reason…Hammer has been our best DMan all season, and showed it again last night…I loved how he even led that rush in the 3rd, and found himself behind the canuckleheads goal, and made a beautiful dish out front…just a great player!

    But really, I wanted to take about the kids…Morin didn’t get a lot of ice time (why?) but had great jump and made things happen…his drive to the net that resulted in the penalty was a huge boost for the Hawks, and then he doesn’t see the ice? Ben Smith was better than just good, he was GREAT last night…great speed, outracing Nuck DMen to loose pucks, taking hits to make plays, making brilliant quick passes to escape the D Zone, taking the body, winning F/Os, driving to the net, making nice passes…the kid is much more than a 4th line filler, he can play…plus he was outstanding on the PK, great body and stick position which is KEY! How more of you aren’t mentioning his game is a little surprising…

    And then Brandon Pirri…he came of age last night…the kid was GREAT all game long, until he was no longer trusted/needed by Q…Pirri was great at the dot, especially when we NEEDED draws, he got them…his defensive positioning and play was not just adequate or good, it was outstanding…as a centre in the DZone you cannot get tricked into the corners…he hovered outside the puck battles with an eye on the slot, and picked up the lose pucks and successfully led attacks up ice…sure he didn’t bury his chances, but he either put very good shots on net that Fatboy had to make big saves on or he set up Kane with PERFECT passes…plus, against the chippy Nucks, Pirri played a strong, physical game…he did not get banged around, and in fact was very strong on the puck…

    Handzus coming back or not, you are looking at our 2nd line Centre folks, the kid just CEMENTED his worth last night. And for all those that are certain on TT, I am not…he has brilliant skill and vision, but until he gets stronger there is no guarantee that he can become an NHL player (although I think he will). Pirri is the real deal, and he’s here now, leading us in many regards…he’s no longer the talented, but timid kid that just dishes to Kane every chance he gets, he is becoming a vibrant player all over the ice and handling all the responsibility incredibly well…well done Brandon!

    Kudos to both Brookbank and Bollig as well..while Bollig wasn’t great, he was back to his early season defensive form, playing responsible D and supporting the rush, and didn’t do anything stupid…Brookbank wants to play, but it must be hard for him getting a pittance of minutes on the 3rd line, but he played solidly last night when he was on the ice and didn’t hurt the team…interestingly, he had one “bad” shift, but that was a DMan???

    Finally, yes Andrew took a stupid penalty that gifted them their only goal, but he did make up for it…he is a special type of player and a special person…and while he will make mistakes from time to time, he ALWAYS makes up for them…just a GREAT Blackhawk…

    JS…as for CC, let him rest after that brilliant performance and give Raanta a shot…

    Also, nice to see Stanton so well received in VAN, his play is greatly appreciated there, while it was not here…good for Ryan!

  10. RyanDale says:

    I was streaming a Canadian feed, all i could find, but Van clearly had 6 skaters deep in their own zone in the 1st pd,about 10 min mark. Did you guys see it and did CSN catch it and point it out? I gotta think Pat/Edzo woulda been all over that . Not a word on my end was said

  11. Sr. Brad says:

    Ryan I had the same feed as you, and they missed it completely…always biased towards the CDN teams…for all the hype the Keith is getting about the Norris, where’s the “national” love for Hammer…he’s been our best DMan flat out this season…its not even close…

  12. RyanDale says:

    I love what 4 can do, but would like to see his gv/tk away ratio be better than 28-8. That is a 95/27pace. I still gotta go with Dunc so far

  13. Morrison says:

    I would think most of them would say, 2 before 4, because of the points. They should just have a trophy for the top off. defenseman, def. defenseman and all around defenseman…

    Beauty playing, Crow.

  14. Dave says:

    RyanDale, the game was on WGN, not Comcast

  15. JS says:

    Just want to vent some more on Q.

    Why is Crawford starting again?

    Why is Handzus playing second line left wing? Is Q punishing Kane?

  16. RyanDale says:

    Dave, thanks but i get neither just used csn out of habit

    JS, you are gonna drive yourself to drink trying to figure out Q….oh nevermind :)

    But points well taken wtf IS he doing?

  17. Morrison says:

    I think now that 26 is back, Q is just getting as many of the lines to be what they’ll be… So when Hoss is back 26 goes to 4th. We really havnt had 3 good forwards on the 3rd line, until now.

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