Corey Crawford, Blackhawks Shut Out Habs

The Blackhawks ventured into Montreal on Saturday night for another Original Six matchup. Corey Crawford, who left the game in Toronto because he was sick, was between the pipes in his home town and said he was ready to play.

Was he ever.

Montreal out-shot the Hawks 13-11 in the first period but the score remained tied at zero. Crawford was on his game early and often in the first period.

In the second, Montreal continued to get the better chances – and Crawford continued to play exceptionally well. Three minutes into the second Connor Murphy attacked in the offensive zone and Dylan Strome set him up perfectly.

Murphy’s fourth of the year came with assists from Strome and Alex DeBrincat and gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead. Chicago held onto that lead through the second period despite being out-shot 17-8. Crawford made a number of incredible stops and dealt with a lot of traffic, but looked comfortable.

Jonathan Toews went to the box for the second time in the game only 36 seconds into the third period but the Hawks successfully killed the penalty. Chicago’s penalty kill was good against Montreal’s advantage four times already at that point in the game.

At 4:49 into the third DeBrincat set up Chicago’s hottest sniper, Brendan Perlini, and he slammed home yet another goal.

Slater Koekkoek was credited with the second assist on Perlini’s 13th of the season. The goal is Perlini’s eighth in seven games in March.

Crawford continued to absolutely steal the show. Big time save after big time save against a flurry of Canadiens opportunities kept the Hawks up two deep into the third period. And, importantly, Chicago stayed out of the box after the Toews penalty.

With 3:15 left in regulation Shea Weber blew a tire and the Hawks got a 2-on-Price. Perlini and Dylan Sikura got too fancy and Perlini made one pass too many, allowing Carey Price the chance to make a save. Perlini should have let it rip; he’s as hot as anyone on the roster but tried to get the rookie on the board.

Montreal pulled Price with 2:30 left in regulation as they desperately tried to solve Crawford.

When the final horn sounded, Crawford made a career-high 48 saves to earn a remarkable shutout.

Toews won 15 of 23 faceoffs and led Chicago forwards with two hits and four penalty minutes. Patrick Kane was held without a point and put only two shots on net in 18:19.

Sikura put a team-leading four shots on net.

Murphy led the team with four hits and finished tied with Koekkoek for the team lead with four blocked shots. Murphy (22:32) and Koekkoek (22:30) led all Blackhawks defensemen in ice time. The only other skater over 20 minutes was Duncan Keith (20:30).

40 thoughts on “Corey Crawford, Blackhawks Shut Out Habs

  1. Crawford won the game tonight. Sikura is getting chances,when he gets one the pressure will be off. Again great effort by Crawford.

  2. What a game by Crow. Sikura just can’t get one in but still like his game, reminds me of Schmaltz light. He was a 6th Rd pick so kudos to the scouts and has more points than Michael Dal Colle who was selected #5 in 1st Rd.

    To think the Hawks even have a remote chance at the playoffs is crazy. When I look at the Standings, if the Hawks win Monday, would only be 10 points behind NAS. How can the Hawks be only 5 wins behind NAS?

    A lot of writers and people on this site are asking for a Top4 as the major need next year. Who is out? Assuming Henri or Mitchell replaces Forsling and either Slater or Dahlstrom are teamed up with Murphy. The only option is to move Keith, unless you can move Seabrook but at what cost. Who do you replace?

  3. WOW – that was the Crawford that wins you games in the playoffs. Outstanding! I don’t know how to explain why he plays so well in his home town – but he does.

    I don’t complain about the refs very often but I thought the refs were bad tonight because they allowed Montreal to get away with interference all game long. It was a big reason why Montreal had so may shots on goal – they were able to stop the Hawks from getting to the pucks by interfering. But … the Hawks won so that’s all that matters.

    It seems like Kane has been a little off these last few games. Hopefully it’s just the law of averages catching up with him after that otherworldly stretch he was on. The good news is the Hawks are winning without him or the PP going great guns.

  4. Entwistle had a hat trick and an assist in Guelph’s 5-2 win tonight, which followed a 2 goal and 2 assist game last night – Entwistle had 5 goals and 3 assists in the last 2 games. WOW! Oh, and he’s 6’3″, plays center or wing, plays PK and he plays with an aggressive edge. This guy might be moving up my favorite prospect list.

    I imagine the AZ fans will really be pissed at Chayka if Entwistle turns out to be another heist job by Stan.

  5. This yrs team, the roster since game 30, is good/not deep and has lots of good players coming each yr for yrs. Wonder who we add in summer.

  6. Kane vs Buffalo is always a safe/good bet, but this thing with Crawford in/vs Montreal deserves some special attention, Right now I am just too tired to look stats up.

    the key to another Cup is getting there vs Montreal…they got no shot!

  7. What a difference having a checking line makes.

    Kaner not scoring as much as he did for like 25 games and PP not scoring 2 goals per game and were winning games without the PP.

    We did not just win games because of a hot PP.

    We should add some more role players that good at PK, to go along with a good checking line players.

  8. Hats off to Crawford. He was spectacular tonight. Looks like he took over for Marty Brodeur.

    But a warning…
    Chicago did not deserve this win and almost always…every time you win a game you didnt deserve, the next gane you lose.

  9. Crawford made the most stops of his career in a regular season game. When he is healthy, you can always depend on him. Price saved just 22 shots on his big night.

    Two years ago we had just one player with a lightening quick catch-and-release shot named Kane. This season, we now have three with DCat and Perlini.

    We can’t keep allowing over 40 shots a game. You can bet that the Hawks will be getting a top 4 d-man in the off-season. Joki needs to be ready to go next year and Dahl and/or KK to be a dependable bottom pairing. Hopefully, Mitchell, Boq, or Beaudin will be ready before the end of next season. Trade Forsling for a 4th rounder, if possible.

    ER, thanks for the info on Entwistle. Hope is can be brought up some time next year.

    If you want more proof why Connor McDavid is the best player, watch his overtime goal. This skate-to-stick-to-shot coordination in a nanosecond cannot be taught.

  10. Corrected

    Crawford made the most stops of his career in a regular season game. When he is healthy, you can always depend on him. Price saved just 22 shots on his big night.

    Two years ago we had just one player with a lightening quick catch-and-release shot named Kane. This season, we now have three with DCat and Perlini.

    We can’t keep allowing over 40 shots a game. You can bet that the Hawks will be getting a top 4 d-man in the off-season. Joki needs to be ready to go next year and Dahl and/or KK to be a dependable bottom pairing. Hopefully, Mitchell, Boq, or Beaudin will be ready before the end of next season. Trade Forsling for a 4th rounder, if possible.

    ER, thanks for the info on Entwistle. Hope he can be brought up some time next year.

    If you want more proof why Connor McDavid is the best player, watch his overtime goal. This skate-to-stick-to-shot coordination in a nanosecond cannot be taught.

  11. Cassie Cambell-who is a smart hockey analyst, and very respected by her peers (captain of two Canadian Women’s teams that won gold) made a comment about Perlini and how he reminds her of Alex Tuch.
    side note-love Bob Cole’s voice and history but the game has passed him by. But still professional and not like the Chicago crew and their on-going banter (didn’t miss –tree, thurty tree of the turd)

    Kane’s play is down a bit lately, but Toews is looking like he’s 25 again. They gave up a lot of shots but I didn’t see the panic and chaos of the third period against Toronto.

  12. Bob Cole and Pat Foley need to BOTH retire- it’s embarrassing listening to them grasp for names, get names wrong, just don’t name anyone or ramble on… pack up the microphones and retire!

  13. Obviously this team is Buzzing right now. Wondering your thoughts on where Caggiula fits into the lineup when he comes back? Kunitz seems like the obvious choice to replace? or Kampf? I think the only line that’s temporarily set is Cat Strome Perlini.

  14. I can handle Foley calling the game but he gets waaay to ‘chummy’ with Olczyk and they go off on tangents and absolutely forget the play by play. And yes the ‘Foleyisms’ are tiring.

    I like the Emrick/Olczyk combo way more (without Mcguire-ugh)

    Bob Cole should have retired 20 years ago. He’s been getting names and such wrong for that long. I kid you not.

    Worst play by play announcer goes to Boston where the guy goes far and beyond the call of duty of being a homer.

    Another is the Colorado guys where if they lose, say, 7-1 you still wont hear a single negative thing coming from them. Theyre like the lego guy “Everything is awesome”

    Daryl Reaugh may be the best colour analyst. He is completely fair and often says weird crap thatll make you laugh. (Foley and Edzo never do)

  15. Gander, I think Caggiula is one of the 12 best forwards and therefore should be in the lineup but he is more of a bottom-6 guy and the 14-64-16 4th line is playing well since Kampf came back so I wouldn’t want to change that right now. Caggiula is a kind of “wild hare” type player which complements Toews and Kane playing together so if the idea is to re-unite T&K then Caggiula should play with them and then figure out how to redeploy Saad and Sikura. I think the best course of action right now is to not change a thing – especially until after Sikura pops his goal cherry.

  16. I beg to differ with the comment that we didn’t deserve to win. Crow was great but we also had plenty of chances that were missed. There is no chance Kampf is coming out of the lineup. He is a key piece in the recent run and I expect he will be signed to a multi-year deal this summer. Love the comparison of Perlini to Tuch – if even close to true that would be awesome. I really liked what I saw from Entwistle at the world juniors despite limited ice time. He may be our top forward prospect right now.

  17. Theres at least, prob more, 5 really good yr for 19 and 88. I wouldnt be surprised if there still playing good past 35. Now that Toews adjusted his food and workout/training routine for this different style of play, that keep you healthyier longer like Kaner has played.

    Going to be a thing of beauty when the roster is deep again for 19 and 88.

  18. MS…seriously?

    Montreal had 20(!) high danger chances. Chicago had 24 shots.

    Crawford made many hilight reel saves. He was superb

    Yes There was the Kruger partial breakaway and Sikura/Perlini rush but was a shot made? Nope. So its not much a threat then like Mtl’s point blank rebound shots on Crawford.

  19. With the Hawks winning lately, it keeps the possibility of playoffs alive which is good in one respect but somewhat counterproductive in another. It’s good because it keeps the carrot out in front of the veterans and it gives the young player experience in a must-win playoff type atmosphere at the NHL level. However, it’s somewhat counterproductive because it keeps player development from being the only important thing – it splits the primary objective between winning and player development.

    If the primary objective is player development, then when Caggiula comes back the obvious move would be to take Kunitz out of the lineup because Kunitz being in the lineup serves no purpose other than to try to win games now. But if the primary objective is to make the playoffs, then it’s probably Sikura that comes out of the lineup.

    Considering the Cat-Strome-Perlini line should probably be kept together for the rest of the season – the Hawks have 7 players for the 6 positions remaining in the top-9 – Toews, Kane, Saad, Kahun, Anisimov, Sikura and Caggiula – which one either moves to the press box or to the 4th line? Obviously not Toews, Kane or Saad – so which of the rest have the type of game that could do well in a 4th line role with Kampf and Kruger as line mates? I contend neither Kahun nor Sikura have the type of game that would do well on the 4th line – it would be a waste of their talent. Anisimov could play 4th line but he is needed to be the center on the 3rd line … which leaves Caggiula.

    But Caggiula complements T&K so well … kind of a conundrum.

  20. Noonan, when I know it’s coming I call my wife to the TV to hear Foley say “tree, thurty tree of the turd”. I have no problem with that, but as you and others have said, there is too much rambling and clowning around. I was in the car listening to Troy’s always excellent and no-nonsense analysis. For example, near the end of the game he criticized some of the players for not dumping the puck deep into Montreal zone. Some were trying too many east-west passes which were picked off. At the end of the game, he said that allowing so many shots on goal will not take you far in the playoffs.

    MS, I beg to differ. When you get out-shot 48-24 you are very fortunate to have won.

    I think in the next skating practice Kruger, Perlini, and Sikura need to work on their breakaways.

  21. I respect others opinions and this is a minor issue but it’s not like this was the 3rd period of the Toronto game. After 2 periods the shots were 30-19. We took a penalty early in the 3rd and then Montreal was down 2 goals for the last 15 minutes and pulled the goalie in the last 2 minutes. I expect to be outshot in a 3rd period like that. Sikura hit one post and had a couple other grade A chances. I thought both goals we scored were from very solid plays not from crazy puck luck. Hopefully we can continue to reduce the high quality chances against but I thought the effort was pretty solid in a tough building.

  22. Great game by Crawford, the D was just ok. Otherwise there would have not been 48 shots on goal. As for who is in and out if and when Caggulia comes back ?? Personally Kahun is the best candidate to play 4th line with Kampf and Kruger, he is more physical than Sikura, next is do you put Drake back on the 1st line with T & K and put Sikura on the 3td with Anisimov and Saad ?? Perhaps try Drake with Kane and Anisimov and leave the 1st line as is……tough decisions for Colliton coming up. But you never know, they may shut down Drake if his symptoms are not getting better….ya know.

  23. Yea, they did not blow us out 48-24 and we got lucky to win 2-0 and only because of goalie win, kind of thing.

    Sure they outshot us 30-20 after 2nd and they could have been up 1-0 not us. they hit posts before we did. Then we did to 95 and 20.

    We were in control of the game, being up 1-0 and then later 2-0, they got a lot of shot in 3rd because of that/us sitting back playing defending/and they were taking shot after shot.

    Now if they outplayed us 48-24 and the whole game was like the 3rd in TOR, yes then we got blwon out 48-24. Thats not what happened.

    They did out play us 30-20 in the first two periods, but we scored first and were up after 2nd. So we were in control of game, overall, thats why I do not think is was lucky to win. We earned that win, getting outshot 48-24 and however many in high danger scoring areas shots, by getting the lead and playing in control of game.

  24. What I like is, I read, that MON top line is by far their best line. It has a 62% corsi stuff and their other lines combined are 50ish%. Our top line 20/19/95 outplayed their top line 10-2 in scoring chances and to 42% corsi stuff. So even though they outplayed us by a little/or more then a little in shots, we shut them down head to head with our top line against theirs.

    MON is a one line team? (I guess based on those corsi % number).

    Now, TOR kicked out ass in 3rd just like we kicked TOR ass in 1st and 2nd.

  25. Perlini=who knew he would turn into this type of sniper ? Wow. He should’ve buried a second one on Sikura’s two-on-oh pass, but decided to be overly generous.

    Toews hugging Sikura after he hit the crossbar was fantastic. Captain Serious telling the kid he’s going to get one soon. Great stuff that bodes well for this team’s chemistry.

    What a run.

  26. I like what Sikura is bringing to Toews’ line at the moment – he can make plays in both the O and D zone and is gaining confidence with each game – he’s got a good shot (better than I realized) – once he gets his first goal I think we’ll see more

    If things start to south on the team then it could time for line changes but not now

    When Caggiula is healthy put him in Kunitz’s place – it’s only going to make the 4th line even better and it’s been good lately

  27. Aside from all the playoffs versus draft pick conversation, this season was always going to be about building/retooling the lineup to get back to Cup contending status withing the T&K window – be it one, two or three to get there. My assessment is the Hawks have done very well this season in achieving what is possible in one season.

    The positives, to name a few:

    DeBrincat not only didn’t regress or plateau – he greatly improved.

    Toews rebounded in a major way.

    Saad rebounded.

    Schmaltz turned into Strome and Perlini.

    Kahun proved he is a legit and flexible top-9 NHL player.

    Jokiharju proved he can play at the NHL level.

    Gustafsson turned into an outstanding offensive d-man.

    Caggiula was acquired and can play up and down the lineup.

    Sikura is showing he may be good enough for a role on the team going forward.

    The 3 big d-prospects all had very good seasons which means they’re a season closer to playing for the Hawks.

    That’s a lot of steps in the right direction for one season.

  28. Chad Krys putting off his pro career by dominating today for BU is a rubber match against U-Mass Lowell in Hockey East.

  29. Craig, thanks for that info on Captain Fantastic hugging Sikura. The rookie is just snake-bit and needs to stay positive. The captain is the best one to help him keep his confidence up.

    ER, terrific summary of positives. Besides a good draft and getting some picks for a few players not part of the future, we need a very good top 4 defensive-oriented d-man and young goalie who can become a #1 in two seasons. If Stan can accomplish that, things are really looking up.

  30. Vintage Crow in this game. Hopefully he’s 100% healthy not only for the rest of this season, but 2019/2020 as well. Agree with the comments about Foley and Eddie O. I like Eddie when he’s doing NBC games, but him and Foley together are brutal. Luckily with the Center Ice package, a lot of times I can get the opponent’s feed and watch that instead when Pat and Eddie start annoying me with school ground banter, inside jokes, and tree turty tree junk.

  31. Okie, yea I know I am more positive then the average person. Feel same I hope hes 100% to because he is still a top 3 goalie when hes healthy.

    Not sure people want to get rid of him, after contract, because if hes 100% and his normal self why in the heck would you get rid of a top 3 goalie. Even if hes in the top 5 or 7 area goalie in his later yrs, why do anyone want to get rid of Crow. other then worried about getting hit again.

    Sure we need goalie for future, but I like keep Crow if healthy for as many yrs as he is healthy/good.

  32. Sure we do not want to be in a situation like last yr without any NHL goalies, but that is the main reason we got a top 5 draft quality player.

    Looked like we would again, nope were too good of a team, even without a full roster and a 3-16 stretch which would knock every team out of playoffs, not just a team playing short handed during a transition yr.

    We have Ward now and will have a decent or better guy like Ward from now on, so other then planning developing for the future, goalie being one of the positions, lets keep Crow for as much as we can. Crow can win another Cup.

  33. Important thing to add to ER list is, how much Momentum we are gaining for the coming yrs. Its a one way street for this momentum because were adding to roster not staying the same/and only improving with that upside, we are adding some good players these summers and good young draft wave players.

    Man were going to be deep in 2 yrs.

  34. There some must loses for ARI and wins/or tie for us. That was one of them.

    Not think we Have to go 8-3 or better. Think ARI needs to lose some games and its right there.

    5-0-1 after holding at 4-6 after 7-0 streaking.

    23-11-5 since we got ‘this’ yrs team.

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