Crawford, Blackhawks Shut Down Stars In Dallas

As the Blackhawks playoff chances continue to fade, Chicago ventured into Dallas for a divisional game.

Both sides have similar issues: lots of offensive ability and a lack of sincere concern for the defensive end of the ice. And the first period played out that way.

Five minutes into the game the Blackhawks took advantage of a 2-on-1. Chris Kunitz and David Kampf negotiated a smooth attack and Kampf put home his first goal since returning from injury.

The Hawks only held the lead for 73 seconds. Alex Radulov continued to own the the Hawks, scoring his 21st of the season.

Late in the first the Hawks took advantage of another odd-man rush. Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat were the aggressors this time, and DeBrincat was on the scoring end.

Connor Murphy made a nice play in the defensive zone to spring Kane for the break.

After 20 minutes the Hawks had a 14-11 shot advantage and a 2-1 lead on the scoreboard.

Chicago carried a lot of the action in the second period. The Hawks had some terrific looks but couldn’t finish, but Dallas wasn’t able to generate anything either.

Late in the second period Duncan Keith collided with Corey Crawford and then Crawford took a shot off his mask. He was slow to get back to his feet but stayed in the game.

After 40 minutes the Hawks remained on top 2-1 and had a 29-22 shot advantage.

The third period was surprisingly pedestrian given the lack of defense from these two teams. Each team had five shots on net in the first 14 minutes of the third and neither goaltender was tested much.

With 4:33 left in regulation the Blackhawks got a power play as Esa Lindell went to the box. Chicago had one power play in the second period and did nothing with it. The timing of this advantage was significant, however, given the lack of offense the Stars had been able/willing to generate in the third.

The Hawks did nothing on the power play but were able to keep the puck in the offensive zone for most of the power play. Dallas had one good short-handed opportunity but the Hawks took it the other way quickly.

Dallas pulled Anton Khudobin with 75 seconds left in regulation. With 27 seconds left Brandon Saad shot at the empty cage and hit the post. Unfortunately he was short of center ice when he shot it and the Hawks iced the puck.

Jamie Benn got called for interference when he cross-checked Murphy into the net with 16 seconds left in regulation. Dallas’ captain went to the box and the puck went to the opposite end of the ice for a faceoff. Chicago closed out the final 16 seconds and hung onto the 2-1 victory.

Chicago played solid defense over the final 40 minutes and shut down a team that plays a lot of offense, picking up two points in the standings.

Crawford stopped 26 of 27 in the game.

Jonathan Toews won 13 of 25 faceoffs and put five shots on net in 20:03. Kane skated 24:50 and put a team-leading six shots on net. Kunitz was also credited with five shots on net.

Dylan Sikura was a non-factor in the box score, putting one shot on net in 9:24 but played an effective game.

Murphy blocked a team-leading seven shots in the game, skating 23:06. Brent Seabrook was limited to 13:51 but blocked three shots. Gustav Forsling skated only 12:05. Carl Dahlstrom led the blue line with three shots on net and blocked four shots in 23:10 effective minutes.

46 thoughts on “Crawford, Blackhawks Shut Down Stars In Dallas

  1. Blackhawks are a better team then DAL MIN COL and anyone in area, we just do not have a full roster. We could easily win 5 or 7 in a row and make playoffs. It would be better to get the top 6 skill pick for reloading roster back to top 5 then top 3 team in coming yrs. 2 yrs.

    We better hope we get that top 6 skill pick. Were just to good, with the defense we have, to have a chance at another top 5 player for another 10 yrs.

    Transitions yrs are over. Tank ufas did their jobs and we have a chance at top 6 skill pick. If playoffs are still 4%, then top 6 skill is 96%.

    Do it. do it.

  2. The Hawks win a low scoring game, and look pretty good doing it. Under 30 shots for Dallas.

  3. Did someone say the 4th line/checking line was missing when we didnt do good. Not having a checking line center for wks might make a difference. Same with a top 6 complimentor, 91. Bang 64 is back and we have a 4th line and a checking line again. Look out. We need some luck to get that needed top 6 skill pick.

    This is why I keep 16 for another season, one at a time, until we have 7 bottom 6 players better then him. 20/64/16 until I see better.

  4. Someone explain to me why winning this and other now-meaningless games is more important than getting a higher draft pick?

  5. Winning these games may be meaningless from standings perspective but they are not meaningless from a player perspective. It’s important for the players and coaches that no one quits or gives less than all out effort. The players don’t want to have a teammate throw in the towel and sticking together to try to win the game helps build the team which carries over into next season in terms of teammates trusting each other to always play hard for each other.

    In terms of draft position – after Hughes and Kakko it’s a crap shoot whether you’re picking 3rd or 10th in terms of selecting a player in the tier of players beneath the first two.

  6. Stefanie, I respectfully disagree with you opinion on Perlini. He’s grown on me here lately and I’m getting more optimistic with each game.

    Kinda the same thing with Sikura who has played better lately too.

  7. I’ll take the experience of the new Hawks learning something valuable in terms of team defensive play and about the fact that as a team they can actually do it over the maybe .5% greater chance of the Hawks getting Hughes or Kakko

    A game like that will not only gives them confidence in playing the right way but will carry over into next year in it’s impact

  8. Ebony, I appreciate you…but I just can’t with Perlini…or Kunitz. Ugh. it bothers me that they are getting minutes.
    I’m a Hayden and Sikura girl. Love me some IceHogs. :)

  9. I like what Colliton is doing with the lines and his use of Kane

    He double shifts Kane on both of the other top 3 lines (Toews’ and Strome’s) which not only gives the Hawks an occasional boost offensively on those lines but also makes it hard for the other team to match up against Kane

    Even though Sikura (who looks better with other high skill players) played on the Toews line he only played less than 10 minutes – Kane played a lot of those other minutes as he did some for Perlini

    Smart move

  10. Stephanie – Both Kunitz and Perlini had good games but so did every Hawk tonight including Sikura although not Hayden

    An impressive and completely unexpected performance – did Colliton’s message finally sink in or was this a 1 game fluke?

  11. Carlo, there not. The guys are not going to throw games, so we are stuck with winning a fair share of a mid tier team amount of wins, taking out the tank ufa 3-16 stretch. Were just too good, even with the defense we have. I want a top 6 skill pick.

  12. I have always liked Hayden. Perlini is why when you want to you cant and have to give more time then you think you ever would. Bowman has the patience.

  13. I am not a fan of the constant double shifting of Kane. What is the point of trying to show the “kids” what it is like to fight for a playoff spot if in doing so you are telling them they are not good enough, so Kane has to do it for them? Seems like mixed messages to me. The kids aren’t going to learn how tough it is to fight for the playoffs while Kane is skating their shifts for them…

  14. Perlini has some advantages over Hayden-one he is a better skater and that is a clear advantage and a better shot and probably more hockey sense-as I feel Hayden’s isn’t high at all. Guys with his size that can skate are a huge value, especially to the Hawks.

    Hayden will only play in the NHL as a bottom six banger while Perlini might (still a big might) be a top 6 player. They have to play Perlini lots to see what he has to offer.
    Kunitz is (my guess) just a case of rewarding a hard worker with 4 Cups, and class guy this year before hopefully he calls it quits. I’d like to a young, unproven guy get the minutes but whatever.

  15. I had to watch the Dallas feed and their announcers are growing on me. They are candid about the good and bad things that both teams do. On the Dallas goal, Eddie probably said, “Duncan Keith was a bit out of position.” The Dallas announcer said, “Keith, a two time Norris Trophy winner couldn’t be bothered to look over his shoulder and see if anybody got in behind him.”

    DeBrincat is passing up the opportunity for snipes and making Schmaltz like passes. He needs to stop that as the passes aren’t getting through.

    Perlini looked good again and the line of Perlini, Strome and DeBrincat is effective when DeBrincat doesn’t make ill advised passes or TOs.

    As alluded to in the summary, Crow staggered after taking a puck off the mask. It was rather scary. I was a bit surprised he didn’t get pulled for a protocol. On one play, it looked like Seguin tried to bounce one in from behind the net off of Crow’s head. It would have been the part of the head that the mask doesn’t cover. Crow did play very well.

  16. Carlo, It might be a crap shoot picking between (3-10) but who in their right mind would rather pick 10 if you could pick 3?
    Picking top 5 would be a lot more important than picking (6-10)

  17. Missed all but the last half of the 3rd. Great comments from all of you. Agree with Miro and Wrap. At this point in the season, the kids need to take the next step and be forced to make plays on their own, which gives them more experience and builds confidence.

    Yes, I want the Hawks to lose a lot of close one-goal games to get a higher pick, but playing with desire to try to make the playoffs is more important. A good coach never promotes playing poorly just to get a higher pick.

  18. Yea I am hoping that the top 6 are that good, while 7-12 are good/not as good as the top 6 though. Thats why I want that.

    Noonan, yea. I like Hayden because hes a good dude. Not saying hes going to be here for 5-10 yrs. I want him to do good to do so, just do know whats going to happen with 4th and 3rd and 5th lines in 2 yrs from now and on. Perlini just keep playing and you never know. Bowman does have amazing patience and every once in a really good while he waits/keeps too long but overall that better then gifting a player to another team/Seguin and Gusto (people want to give up because nothing happening for a long time, then out of now where, they are good? wtheck).

    Good comments.

    I would say De bob lee swagger cat is ok to pass happy, so its random/keep the other team thinking and honest. Sure pass happy like 8 is too much, and you can be shoot happy too. Keep other team guessing, so its ok to be pass happy in that way. When on 2 on1 and 3 on 2 f that be greedy and take the good stuff/whats best for scoring goals.

  19. Miro – we often agree but I guess not on the issue of double shifting Kane

    I think it’s brilliant – the way Kane plays (not a very physical game often not skating that hard until he finds an opening) he can handle those increased minutes – he’s playing D man like minutes which again considering his style is appropriate IMO (granted ultimately and especially in the playoffs you’d want legit top 6 wingers filling out Toews’ and Strome’s lines so Kane doesn’t double shift quite as much)

    And what’s the message you’re sending Perlini and Sikura if you play them over Kane? – that they deserve minutes you could be giving to Kane? when they and everyone else knows they are not yet (if ever) consistent top 6 players

    Plus I don’t see how it helps the team confidence to lose just so Perlini and Sikura can experience playing top 6 minutes in a playoff chase when they not ready to

    Dcat’s winning goal came with Kane double shifting for Perlini and both Perlini and Sikura had good games and had minutes and responsibilities they could handle and succeed at – IMO that’s all good – good for Perlini, Sikura, Kane and the team

  20. Ribs, I didnt see as well and do not like Crow puck helmet. What in the heck does this guy need to do to Not get touched in helmet. Jesus a little help.

  21. Clarifying my earlier post regarding draft positions 3-10 being a crap shoot – obviously I would prefer the Hawks draft #3 rather than #10 because I would rather the Hawks get to choose the player they want from “that next level” of players behind Hughes/Kakko. But, is there a clear cut #3, or a clear cut sequence of “next best” players? I don’t think so and that is the crap shoot. The odds the #10 player will end up the best player is about the same as the #3 player. It’s a matter of subjective preference. I prefer Turcotte after Hughes/Kakko – but any of the other guys projected in the top-10 could end up being a better player than Turcotte – we’ll just have to wait 2-3 years until we know.

  22. Kane’s play is still high but that streak he was on was truly elite-he looks just a bit less interested/engaged whether because he knows the playoffs are gone or he’s a bit tired… or both.
    it might never happen but,,,
    I’m just wondering how many points Strome, D-Cat and Kane would have playing together a full year? It would be fun. Offensive IQ off the charts.

    Then Toews, Saad and a complimentary third person for two nice lines. One more player, to be named later for a talented top six. The key will be the third line and what that looks like. Again they might go back to Toews, Kane.

  23. Mo, I agree with you on Cat’s passing – I don’t think he’s passing up too many shots and he has very good playmaking skills (vision/passing) that shouldn’t be completely curtailed.

    I should qualify that – Cat makes good passes in the o-zone – BUT NOT so much in the d-zone. He is a turnover machine in the d-zone with passes getting intercepted every game. He seems like a very heady player so I’m sure he’s aware that part of his game needs improvement and hopefully that gets taken care of.

    As long as I’m on the subject of DeBrincat – I don’t recall many comments about an area of his game that has improved from last year to this year and that’s his skating. He not only is faster but he’s also a more elusive and shifty skater. He always had a good compete level – especially for a little guy – but his skating was sub par for a little guy and it cost him opportunities that he is cashing in on this season. He’ll never be a Johnny Gaudreau type skater but I think his skating can no longer be seen as a negative.

  24. I do not know, I think there could be a gap between those first two and the others and a smaller gap/but gap between 6/7-12. It depends on with scouts are better and what the teams wants/position wise. We got lucky to get a top 3 quality guy at 8th last draft. I would rather get that 6th pick then get lucky at 9-12 pick.

    Sure theres not much/any difference in % for that. I want to bank on selecting who we want at 6th pick, then just getting a really good player of whos left, like you said.

    There will be some steals between 7-12, over someone of 3-6 but I want to select and think that 6th pick player is going to be better then 9th-12 pick players.

    Funny thing is the team is playing with us. Win a bunch of games and were tied for 7 and 8 seed. (could do it again during these 10 games now) Then lose enough games were still right there, with two other teams, for 6th pick. Now were winning again.

    Hey that 64 guy is back, maybe it does make the difference in having a checking line FW. Were not deep so when just one key position is out, bang we lose those games. Now were winning again. Somebody must fake an injury.

  25. I agree that 64 makes a difference-both him and 91

    It was good to see them not ‘have’ to do the pass it back play to start the power play, if teams overplay it enter the zone. J.T. hasn’t won too many PP draws on the right side dot lately and that has hurt the production a bit. He seems to be trying to push it forward?

  26. Yea when teams cherry pick the pass back shit on PP, just go and create a fast 4 on 3 shot/goal. Make them pay for over forecking. At some point a team is going to break the system of beating, defending, the pass back on PP and that ll be the end of that shit. Might take a few yrs.

  27. A few of the “new” forwards on the Hawks this season have pretty much secured a roster spot for themselves next season – I would put Strome and Kahun in that category (but not necessarily Caggiula and Kampf). But what about the rest of the forward prospects who have suited up at least one game for the Hawks this season – how would you rank them?

    Here is the way I have them ranked:
    1. Caggiula
    2. Kampf
    3. Perlini
    4. Sikura
    5. Fortin,
    6. Hayden
    7. Johnson
    8. Nilsson

  28. 64 and 91 need to stay, at least until theres better/like 7 players that are better. They make a difference now and these two yrs while were reloading.

    The other guys prob doesnt matter, just keep playing and whoevers good is good.

    Playing them over vets, to see what they have, doesnt matter because they might get better over time, not just ‘these’ 20 games. Just keep playing and see over time, these 20 games and whenever they get in the first 40 games and 2nd 40 games in season 20. Just keep playing for those guys, they can stay however long because caphits are not going to be to much.

  29. I expect Caggiula, Perlini and Kampf to have roles on the team next year – the others maybe maybe not – depends a lot on summer acquisitions and whether they can sign Kubalik

  30. @Wrap, yeah, we are not going to agree on this one. It’s not that Kane is getting double shifted that I have issue with, it’s the frequency of it. In the infamous words of Indiana Jones, “It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage…” The best players should be on the ice the most, I agree, but I think the Hawks are risking burning him out for very little gain…

    My point about Playing guys like Perlini and Sikura more come from thinking about how Patrick Sharp was allowed to develop when the Hawks first acquired him. The year he was traded, he averaged 7 minutes of ice time with Philly. After traded to Hawks, he was averaging 16 minutes. His stats weren’t that great, but he played. The next full year with the Hawks, Sharp averages 17 minutes a game and scored 20 goals. He was 24 years old when he was acquired in the trade (not unlike Sikura…)

    Sharp was a young player on a not very good team that wasn’t going to make the playoffs. So he was afforded the time to develop on his own without repercussion for poor play…

    How does this relate to Pelini and Sikura today? The Hawks have open spots in the top six and are not likely to make the playoffs. Maybe it makes more sense giving guys like Perlini and Sikura a chance to find out how high their ceilings can be now. If that means the Hawks lose a few more games than they otherwise might, I take comfort in knowing that will improve the teams draft position. For a team not likely to make the playoffs, I’ll take a better draft pick…

  31. Miro – you make your case well however I would challenge it on a couple of fronts

    the Sharp comparison is an interesting one and if the Hawks were mathematically out of the playoff race playing Perlini and Sikura more minutes a la Sharp to give them the playing opportunity would make sense but they’re not

    Objective observers can see there is only the slimmest of chances that they’ll qualify for the post season but you can’t tell that to the players and in fact you’d piss off the core including Kane if you decided to tank for a better draft position by playing Perlini and Sikura when you could be double shifting Kane instead in an effort to pull off a miracle

    Also there was no Patrick Kane type player on the Hawks when Sharp was traded to CHI to really take those minutes from him

    Double shifting Kane like Colliton is doing is a coaching strategy born of the new style of NHL game where physical play takes a back seat to high skill level – I actually think Colliton is ahead of the curve here and with the success he’s having using Kane this way I think you’ll see other teams next year start to do the same thing say with Gaudreau or McDavid although not every team has players like that

  32. Miroslav: I’m with you on no need to play Kane twenty five minutes a game and double shifting him all of the time.
    Even with Patrick Kane getting double shifted all of the time the Hawks are not a playoff team. While it is not Kane’s fault for Chicago missing the playoffs I have a hard time thinking all of Kane’s extra ice time is a brilliant move.
    Play and try to develop the young players to see what we have for next year and beyond would probably be the wise choice at this point.

  33. I have to admit I’m kinda in a “want my cake and eat it too” quandary because I would like Perlini and Sikura, specifically, to get quality minutes but at the same time I would like to see Kane break his 46 goals / 106 points personal best scoring season – and obviously double shifting him helps with that, I suppose if I had to choose between Perlini/Sikura getting more ice time versus Kane getting more ice time I would have to choose Perlini/Sikura because that has the potential to impact the shape of the team next season.

  34. @Wrap, Your thoughts on Kane’s usage is interesting. Maybe my hockey thinking is too conventional but what you see as a brilliant new strategy, I see as a drastic overreaction to lack of depth scoring.

    The Sharp comparison was only meant to illustrate that sometimes long term gains are more important than short term ones. Trying to make the playoffs at this point while not being mathematically eliminated does not have a high chance of success. IMO, The potential long term gains of playing Perlini/Sikura more now outweigh the potential short term gains of trying to make the playoffs given the Hawk current situation…

    That said, I don’t necessarily think that trying to make the playoffs and giving Perlini and Sikura more playing time are mutually exclusive. I’m not sure why playing those two guys more will be interpreted by the core as waiving the white flag.

    Personally I think the idea that the core would be pissed off by this is overstated. They get paid real good money to do what the Hawks coaches say. If they don’t like what the Hawks want them to do, they can waive their NMCs and see what happens. Personally I think they are professional enough to get it and not make it an issue, but I could be wrong.

    Normally we see things similarly but this is one where we will probably have to agree to disagree. But don’t interpret my comments as a negative view of your thoughts. And even though I may not agree with your conclusions I appreciate looking at it from a different point of view. Respectful discourse is good…

  35. @Miro – wholeheartedly agree on the respectful discourse being a good and healthy thing and I appreciate your POV on this and others as well

    I think by now we’ve exhausted the discussion on this point but it was fun

    Let’s see what happens from here – huge game tonight – if the Hawks can win vs ARI they can pretend the dream is still alive for at least one more game and I have a lot of friends who are Leaf fans so I want Wednesday’s game to have a little meaning

  36. Speaking of AZ making the playoffs – I don’t recall the prognosis / recovery time for Schmaltz – could he be ready to come back during the playoffs?

  37. All this talk about more playing time for Sikura and Hayden is a waste. What you see is what you’re getting with these two. Sikura is scared out there and Hayden is useless unless he bangs and forechecks. There are lots of players available to do this. Just my rant for the day.

  38. Sikura may end up being not good enough to play in the NHL but it isn’t because he is scared or shies away from battling for the puck. He sticks his nose in there just fine – the problem is he’s only about 160 lbs and doesn’t skate at the elite level needed for 160 lbs players to succeed.

  39. Blackhawks are a playoff team.

    The roster we had the first 30 games, not a playoff team.

    Once we made those roster adjustments, thats the team we have this yr and it is a playoff team. Technically we arnt because of that 3-16 stretch, which I do not count as ‘this’ yrs team. Cant take that 0-6-2 ans 0-8 part of the 3-16 back.

    When you look at the roster adjustments around game 30, tank ufas out and 17 11 91 trades in and Dals and Murf back. That is ‘this’ yrs team and a playoff team. Ww would be 11 games over .500 with these adjustments to roster, having that from game 1. We ll we would ahead, CHI 11, DAL 8 MIN 5.

  40. These guys are prob staying, so they do not have to prove anything in these 20 games. They are going to have up to 40 or more games in the fall to prove they belong on roster going forward. What I am saying is its not just these 20 games for these guys, its these 20 and the next 82. I mean we could be saying same thing about these guys in 12mths.

    As the roster gets deeper, then they need to do it by then.

  41. Miro/Wrap, good to talk about things like that even when disagreeing because you post some good ideas and thoughts on things people wouldnt think of or read somewhere. Using those players from 2005-2008 as examples.

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