Crawford, Blackhawks Blank Wild

It took 54 minutes for the Blackhawks to get on the board, but Corey Crawford once again carried the team to a strong road victory in Minnesota.

Chicago came out firing, out-shooting Minnesota 16-9 in the first period. Both Crawford and Devan Dubnyk had a good opening 20 minutes to keep the game scoreless. The Hawks were able to successfully kill a Nick Schmaltz penalty in the first.

The song remained the same in the second. Chicago held a 9-8 shot advantage in the middle frame, but came up empty on two powerplays of their own. Jonathan Toews spent two minutes in the box for Chicago, but his teammates killed that penalty off as well.

With the score still tied at zero, Luke Kunin caught Cody Franson with a high stick and received a double-minor for his effort. Though the first two minutes of the Hawks’ advantage weren’t productive, Chicago was able to get on the board 11 seconds into the second half of the powerplay.

Artem Anisimov planted himself in front of Dubnyk and tipped home a Duncan Keith shot to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.

After scoring only once in the Hawks first ten games, Anisimov has now scored in four straight games. Patrick Kane picked up the second assist on the goal.

Dubnyk went to the bench as the Wild tried to tie the game in the final minutes but Alex DeBrincat was able to score into an empty net for the second time in as many games. Toews won a battle and got the puck to DeBrincat, who had just come onto the ice, and the rookie put it home for his third of the year.

From there the Hawks held on to earn their second consecutive shutout victory. Chicago had a couple more golden opportunities in the closing minutes with Dubnyk on the bench, but Matt Dumba made a terrific save on a DeBrincat shot and Richard Panik put a shot wide with an open cage.

In a big divisional game, the Hawks had a strong night at the dot. Anisimov won 10 of 16, Toews won nine of 16, Schmaltz won eight of 14 and Tommy Wingels won seven of 12 as the Blackhawks finished winning 57 percent of the faceoffs in the game as a team.

Dubnyk had a strong night in defeat, stopping 34 of 35 on the night. Crawford made 24 saves to earn another shutout.

Chicago was credited with only eight hits as a team, led by two each from Franson and Michal Kempny. Minnesota blocked 22 more shots in front of Dubnyk while the Hawks were only credited with nine blocks in the game. Kempny, Panik and Jan Rutta blocked two each. And Kempny led the Blackhawks with six shots on net.

It was an oddly refreshing, balanced performance from the Blackhawks forwards. Toews led all Chicago forwards but skated only 18 minutes. Only three defensemen – Keith, Franson and Brent Seabrook – skated more than 20 minutes in the game.

Chicago returns to the United Center to host the Habs on Sunday night.

20 thoughts on “Crawford, Blackhawks Blank Wild

  1. Another goalie win. Defence still porous. Not a recipe for success. Kane is unnoticeable out there. Our best players need to step up.

  2. Crawford is having a great year. I thought tonight was a pretty good effort all the way around against a Division opponent. A very entertaining game.

  3. Crawford again and again …always there for the Hawks …..underpaid but its ok …
    Lucky we didnt listen to the Darling lovers…..
    Dcat Is really good when it comes to 6 on 5 at the end of the games…he knows where to go and always find a way to play Q style games.
    Now lets bring Hino for a few games to see what kind of speed he can bring to the Hawks

  4. $6 Million goaltending. Great to have. Crawford has been the team’s slump buster.

    If ice time is any indication, I would imagine little Gustav will take Murphys place in the lineup and Rutta would slide back over to the right side.
    Q mentioned Forslings return in the radio pre-game interview, saying there would once again be “tough decisions “.

    Personally I not see any urgency to get Forsling back in there.

    No way should Franson be scratched. Kempny playing very well also.

  5. Crawford unbelievable the way he is playing, thought he might be 1 and 1 with 2 straight shutouts for awhile. Thought Debrincat played his best game too.
    Be interesting to see how Forslings return is handled, believe his speed is a needed asset. But I don’t think Q wants 44, 7 or 11 playing 3rd pair right now either but don’t see Kempny being scratched after tonight either, tough decisions for sure.

  6. Schmaltz looks like the fastest skater on the ice for the Hawks. I really like the way he plays but needs to shoot a little more. He does possess a great shot,
    I agree with Hawks2010, Debrincat, has to be sent down, along with Kero, Bouma and Wengels. Love to see Hinostroza, Jurco, Dauphin and Iacopelli. Winning this way is simply foreshadowing the obvious therefore I hope Joel and Bowman can agree on building with speed and skill.

  7. Ernie- didn’t watch the game… so I can’t comment on 7/19′ performance last nite…

    Tab- Even though I didn’t watch the game… You are wrong (again)… Kempny did not skate over 20 min.,,, Franson did!

    Craig N- Ironically- I have had the same thought- Crow (at $6M) is one of the few Hawks actually “earning/playing” to his contract– so far this year…. It Still Does NOT change my argument- That I would rather throw more $$$ at skaters versus Goalie… actually strengthens it– CUZ- As great as Crow has played… Hawks/Crow will eventually not be able to overcome the Break aways and Odd Mans the Hawks Skaters are giving up in abundance… and It will be the Hawks SKATERS to blame not Crow!!!

    Franson- In small sample size- all ready putting up better Stats/corsi versus 7 at a fraction of the cost…. now take The $6M cap savings from (no #7) … and replace him with say- Panarin… I like that team better

  8. He reads what he wants to read 2010.

    Did it look like they were using 88 differently on the pp? Thought I remembered someone else carry it in, and 88 was on the point at least for a short period.

  9. A little better. By no means a “perfect” game but they are starting to look more consistent. Our PP needs to move the puck better but things will come around.

    At least Q is trying different approaches with different lines on the PP. This is a work in progress. Positive attitude, boys, positive attitude.

  10. Hawks 2010, I thought your 6 on 5 comment was a nice sarcastic remark concerning DCat’s play? Well, I still believe he is not NHL ready and certainly not worthy to play alongside Toews and Panik at this stage in his career. Average speed, no grit and coughs up the puck will ill advised passes quite often. Move Panik back on the left wing like last year and have Hartman or Sharp play that position. Weird that Dcat is ahead of Hartman on the depth Sharp???

  11. Considering what Hartman did last year as a Rookie. And he has good speed, a nice shot, and lots of grit.

  12. Savoir they obviously believe Debrincat’s upside can add a needed boost to the offense and tapping into it is a priority for the early part of the season. Relax if he doesn’t cut it that will be addressed. I see him getting better each game and thats all you can ask right now. As for Hartman yes he had a very good year but quite possibly played up to his potential last year and has struggled to maintain that level of play so far this year. Thats not to say he won’t be playing further up the lineup as the season progresses.

  13. Highmore- I like better than Hartman…. better forecheck, better gritty goals to the net… perhaps a little quicker skater too

  14. good game to watch our goalie shine/ crow doesnt get league wide respect but would put him up against any other

  15. Wall – Highmore against AHL players…

    I haven’t seen any IceHogs games, but “against AHL players” holds
    for Jurco and others mentioned as callups. Jurco hasn’t shown much
    in the NHL. I like Hinostroza’s speed, but from what I’ve during his
    limited time in Chicago, the rest of game needs improvement.

  16. Folks, I don’t think Wingels and Bouma are going anywhere, so you might as well shelve those wishes. They are fourth (maybe third sometimes) line guys who show some speed and get after the puck and are physical. They ain’t gonna score, but not everybody in the lineup is gonna be counted on to do that.
    Hayden/Hartman pair with them as fourth liners who have been effective. They have a little bit of speed and the five just mentioned mix it up a bit. There was a ton of bitching last year about not being able to roll lines. These three, while not putting up scoring, are providing ice time without egregious mistakes that are allowing the other three lines to come out as dictated.
    After that first two game scoring barrage, goals have been the problem and they haven’t been put in by Kane and Saad, notably. The top scorers aren’t scoring, although they have been getting some looks.
    Sharp has provided some decent feeds to players but his chances are way down. In his past incarnation with the Hawks he might not have been scoring but he was getting shots on net, and could then get streaky. I may be wrong but it looks like he’s not getting/producing those opportunities now. It will be interesting to see how his role progresses as the season goes along.

    Go Blackhawks!!!!

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