Crawford, Blackhawks Handle Shaw, Habs

We’ll get to the entire game, but let’s fast forward straight to the sexy.

That dirty piece of damage from Patrick Kane gave the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead at 16:23 into the second period that they would hang onto until the final horn. The goal, Kane’s sixth of the year, provided enough offense for the Blackhawks to win a game in which Corey Crawford had another stellar effort.

Chicago got off to a good start, out-shooting Montreal 9-7 in the first period. Gustav Forsling scored his first career NHL goal at 12:06 to get the Hawks on the board.

In the closing minutes of the first period, Andrew Shaw had a glorious breakaway opportunity but was stoned by Crawford. A couple minutes later, Max Pacioretty was hit in the face by a redirected Shea Weber blast and went to the room for repairs. Montreal’s captain would return to the game, but the Blackhawks would take a lead to the first intermission.

The second period started and it quickly felt like the wheels were coming off. Brian Campbell needed to serve nine seconds of penalty time to open the second, which he did without issue. But Duncan Keith went to the box 15 seconds after Campbell came out and the Habs took advantage.

The assumption when seeing “Shea Weber PPG” on the scoresheet is that the former Nashville captain unloaded his bomb of a shot, but the tying goal was maybe the least-Weber goal we’ve ever seen against the Hawks.

That unfortunate redirect off Michal Kempny’s stick tied the game at one 59 seconds into the middle period. Only 1:41 later, Andrei Markov sniped one past Crawford to give Montreal two goals in less than two minutes, and a 2-1 lead.

Montreal came in having won four in a row and five of six in the month of November. But the fact that it was Al Montoya and not Carey Price at the other end of the rink left the door open for a comeback.

And the Blackhawks would get after Montoya before the second period came to a close.

Marian Hossa stayed red hot and tied the game with his ninth of the season at 11:29. Nick Schmaltz and Jonathan Toews picked up the assists on Hossa’s marker.

Toews picked up the only assist on Kane’s game-winner five minutes later, but Vince Hinostroza made a tremdendous play to initiate the rush. Ryan Hartman started the game on the Hawks’ top line but Hinostroza started to see shifts with them early. The two would both get shifts with Toews and Kane the rest of the way, and both got involved frequently.

The Hawks held a 22-12 shot advantage heading to the third period and continued their dominance into the third. But Montreal had chances, only to be denied time and time again by Crawford.

When the dust settled after a frenetic closing three minutes that included offsetting penalties on Hartman and Montoya, Crawford had put on a show in front of a national audience and earned a huge victory against the Eastern Conference-leading Habs. Crawford made 21 saves, many of which were spectacular.

Toews had a big night, winning 18 of 27 faceoffs and leading Chicago with two assists. He was also credited with a team-leading three takeaways, two hits and one blocked shot. Artem Anisimov returned to the lineup after missing Friday night’s game against Washington. He won eight of 18 faceoffs in 16:24 on the ice.

Schmaltz was the only Blackhawks player held under 10 minutes of ice time but had an effective night. He picked up an assist on Hossa’s game-tying goal and was credited with three hits and two takeaways in only 9:49 on the ice. Hinostroza skated 13:21 and was credited with one blocked shot, one hit and one takeaway with three shots on net.

Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson led the way with five blocked shots each, while Kempny led the Hawks with five hits. Campbell led Chicago with four shots on net.

In his return to Chicago as a visitor, Shaw had a massive night in the box score. In 17:58, Shaw won five of 13 faceoffs and was credited with a game-high six shots on net and nine hits. Phillip Danault, who did not receive a video montage from his former team, won six of 11 faceoffs and finished minus-two in the loss.

Before the game started, the Blackhawks kicked off a new promotion called “One Last Shift.” The team played the following video montage before Hall of Famer Denis Savard skated out onto the ice in full uniform to join the Blackhawks for the national anthems. It was fitting that “Savoir-Faire” would come out with the Montreal Canadiens in the building.

24 thoughts on “Crawford, Blackhawks Handle Shaw, Habs

  1. Impressive win that will hopefully shut up some of my friends who bleed red with the Habs-
    Kane’s goal was stunning but the Sportsnet Ontario feed showed that the puck went out of bounds (into the netting) and should not have counted. The refs missed it and the play continued. The breaks do even out over the year.
    Schmaltz looks good.

  2. Crawford wasn’t one of the top 3 players on both teams tonight? A handful of highlight reel saves. Desjardins solid playing w/ Kruger tonight. Tootoo hasn’t been terrible, but he can’t play the cycling game like that line did tonight. Hossa picture of consistency lately.

    Once again, we have to ask, what country is Mr. Rufus vacationing in? Regardless, please stay a little longer.

  3. Hossa has had an unbelievable start this season. It seemed that he struggled so much last season- was he injured? tired? He is just rejuvenated and shutting up all those who couldn’t wait to send him to LTIR. Keep it up!
    Kane. Showtime!!!
    Rookies adjusting to NHL and looking forward to when Motte returns. 3rd line of Motte-Schmaltz-Hartman?
    Good to see Shaw- and welcomed back with a couple of punches from Toews and Seabrook. But deserved I guess…haha

  4. Points are important, of course, but what is more encouraging than finding ways to get points the way they were through the first 10-12 games is the way they’re playing now. Whereas they were losing the fancy stats battles and relying on Crawford to essentially win games for them, lately they are playing a better game than their opponent and that upward trend is the encouraging thing.

    We still haven’t found a LW for Toews but the rookies are all improving so even with the revolving door at LW, it doesn’t seem like such a big problem the way it used to.

    Kempny and Forsling are improving too, both in the D-zone and also in the O-zone. They both have big shots and it was nice to see Forsling get his first tonight. With their confidence growing it will improve their games at both ends.

    With all the rookies – a steady string of road games will tell us even more about them. Hopefully they keep moving in the right direction.

    It’s only 16 games in, with a lot of them home games, so I don’t want to get too excited but my hope meter is rising. Maybe … just maybe …

  5. Noonan96-Tomorrow morning as I walk into work and head into the coffee room I will be amongst a sea of Habs fans….some will smirk, some will ignore me completely, some will hide and avoid me at all costs. I won’t say a word or gloat or rub anything in but I may slurp my coffee with exuberance and quite loudly at that.

    The play continued on for some time before Kane’s goal. It was too late to whistle anything dead. It was all within the rules.

    One other thing, …that well may be a preview of the Stanley Cup final, way to early to make that call but it feels right. Hard to pick 3 stars for that game…there were 10!

  6. Every time I think that Jim McDonough and the Blackhawks could not get any “classier” , they roll out an Andrew Shaw tribute or a “One Last Shift” honor.

    Between the Blackhawks and Cubs, it’s certainly a great time to be a Chicago sports fan!

  7. ER- good post… I will add some- Kempny and Forsling… might have been their best games… Forsling didn’t try to “overskate”/ roper-dope the forechecker… simply moved the puck… Kempny- didn’t recall any bad pinches… and was very physical behind our net… made a few big blocks on PK.

    Re: still don’t have a 1LW… well – truth is they probably don’t have one on team…
    BUT- Q might have just found an answer- albeit from an unlikely player- Hinostroza- really seemed to help that line find a lot of chances??? Hino- sees the ice well and his greatest asset is his speed/quickness… I don’t know if it will work versus all teams- But it certainly seemed give that 1st line a new dimension… and even though Hino is small… he battles better than Schmaltz on boards and handles/passes better than Panik did as 1LW… But I still liked Hino’s ability to get the puck “in chip n chase scenario” if teams are going to double/or stand up Kane at blue line.

    To this point in time Hino has looked like “busy bee” skating on 4th line- with no rewards…. I think he has earned some more “looks” for 1LW… and added a New dimension to “trying to contain” that w/ 19/88.

    Schmaltz/Hartman also look to be improving- and Motte ( might have been the best rook- so far) still in the waiting.

  8. Like what i’m seeing puck possession numbers better resulting more shots and outplaying the top teams in the league pretty impressive. Rookies coming great a little more consistent production from 3rd and 4th lines motte should help alot there and looksvlikeca n8cecs3ason shaping up.

  9. The big guns continue to show up on the score sheet. Hossa has really showed sone finish around the net. The blueline looks solid with Forsling and Kempny. But the biggest story is Crow. The guy is playing at an MVP level.

  10. Another goaltending show last night. Both keepers kept the score down ffrom being what could have been a game where 10-12 goals coiuld have been scored. First time all year the Hawks had an opponent doubled up with SOG well past mid way in the game. Montoya was just being peppered and left multiple rebounds. Hawks puck possession game last night maybe the best I have seen all year. Could be it was because the Habs played Saturday….

    Hard to believe Habs would not have challenged Kane goal if the puck had hit the behind the glass netting first. Kane tally was a thing of beauty.

    Schmaltz has some quick hands. The kid was stealing pucks off Habs sticks all night and then getting possession. I am seeing big game to game progress with the youngster. ALL the young guys have contributed. I am so pleased to see Hartman filling some of the hole left by Shaw’s departure. Rasmussen game is improved too.

    What was the no call late when Shaw ran Kempny into back boards with the puck nowhere near either players sticks? That had to be charging or interference. A dangerous, reckless play. Call it a cheap shot if you will. This comes from a Shaw fan.

    Yet again at the UC last night during a close game a single fan stands up and blocks the view of my son and myself from seeing a potential goal scoring play. Hawks stretch pass in the 3rd connects and just before the shot is taken this one clown stands up. My seats basically face the goal line where the Hawks shoot in the 1st and the 3rd periods. When someone stands up eyesight from the rings on to net is gone. This happens at least 4-5 games a year. These people are clueless, and when logically confronted they don’t understand hockey fan etiquette and get defensive. Fans in question are never regulars in my section. If you say nothing they keep doing it. If you say something they take it personal. Usual response is “just stand up”. Of course that is ludicrous because the play is over. Serenity now!!!

    Great homestand for the Hawks! While there will be some rough patches during the season this team is fun to watch and is coming together.

    Lets Go Hawks!!

  11. Phil not sure if it was challengeable play. Anyways play happened with schmaltz rasmussen and hartman on ice puck camedown too hawks end and both teams changed lines so noncall clearly had no impact on goal just grasping at straws as far as i can see.

  12. Shaw is older than Johns. He should know better, but then again it’s Shaw. Some guys can pull it off, but those two clearly aren’t getting it done.

    What about the Eaves beard “thing” going on in Dallas? It’s bad enough that 2 guys in San Jose have these brutal spinach chins, but Eaves really should look in the mirror.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  13. Andrew Shaw apparently in line to play Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights II. That porn stache is hilarious.

    Good win. Albeit with Montoya in goal for the Habs. Hossa reborn on the Anisimov line (which might be an indictment on Toews the past year plus?).

    Becoming a big fan of Forsling. Kid is good.

  14. I think hossa is benefitting playing on a line with 2 top 6 skill level linemates not too mention an offseason with more time to get healthy. Even 2 high skilled players as toews and kane shows without a 3rd linemate to compliment its not easy but the difference this year is that 4 rookies who are still adjusting to nhl level of play will fill that void and make a productive top 9 as the season goes on

  15. Great win over Montreal and yes, I’ll go out on a limb w/ MM and agree that could be an SC Final preview. Of course it’s way too early and we’ve no business saying that, it’s just that it’s the SC Final I really want. Must avenge 1971, and ’73…and ’65, and….and….and
    Absolutely love the “One Last Shift” honor for Savvy. Let’s keep it going. Upcoming nominees: Savvy’ s linemates Steve Larmer and then Al Secord. Numerous other worthies to remember and be honored

  16. HAR! I was going to make a Stephen Johns comparison and all of you beat me to it. Hilarious. That stache is awful.

    As for fans standing …… in my experience it’s worse down in the lower bowl (where I’ve only a time or two) than up in the 200/300 level where I usually sit. Lots of Corporate ticket drunks down in the lower level that stand and talk to each other and get into their seats three minutes after the period has started, and continue to stand, and don’t watch the game. Really annoying. I find it much better in the rafters. There are a few goofballs up there but all in all I’d say it’s good hockey fans who have some semblance for the “rules” of standing and entering/exiting when play is going on. Of course there are always a couple …..

    Go Blackhawks!!!!

  17. Row 10 or so is sweet spot where you can breath the cool of the ice. I once stood up and could just feel the shame in it. I always use etiquette and cant stand people who do not. The time I stood up yrs ago, makes you feel like your about 10 seconds from being slapped hard in the back of the head.

    Heard that only when a goal is scored right after it hits netting. otherwise doesn’t even have to leave zone for it to be good.

    Interference on that, didn’t like it then when I saw it was Shawzer I felt not good. Thank god that it was a big guy, like when Seabsy got cheap shoted and if not a big BC guy.

    People mentioned strength of sch, when we were 2-2 against top 5/10 teams. Now after 5 in a row against top 5/10 teams where we went 4-0-1. Any questions.

    JK, proud of the guys showing where the heart of the team is really at.

  18. Thanks Morrison and Big Indian for your comments regarding fans spontaneously standing and blocking the view of other fans. I agree Big Indian that in the box seats at the UC people do this a lot compared to what I deal with in 2nd level club seats from the last row(which I like BTW). Popularity comes with success and there are fans that just have no clue about hockey etiquette. At the Stadium it was always self policed with fans shaming those that didn’t follow “the rules”. I sat for 16 years with season tickets red line 2nd balcony, and it was a tight group up there. The Cpt in recent years gave a short info video announcement about these things before games, but I haven’t arrived to games early enough to see if that bit is still played on the jumbotron.

    The big road trip begins tonight. Winnipeg arena is a great place to watch NHL hockey. Anyone hear when Motte will return to action?

    Lets Go Hawks!

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