Crawford, Blackhawks Top Coyotes

Niklas Hjalmarsson was out of the Arizona lineup on Sunday night, eliminating the only potential for emotion in the opening two periods of a hockey game that spent 50 minutes curing insomnia.

Indeed, to many in the stands at the United Center the idea that the players didn’t know the game started before 8 pm CT was a real possibility.

Through 40 minutes, the shot total favored Chicago 20-19. The Blackhawks had killed one penalty and been unsuccessful twice. There was very little to get excited about from either team. No hitting, little movement, lots of bad passing and ugly turnovers.

The opening two periods were just bad hockey.

In the third, however, both teams appeared to suddenly wake up.

At 7:36 into the third, Tommy Wingels received a terrific pass from John Hayden and got Chicago on the board.

Jordan Oesterle, skating in the place of injured Cody Franson, picked up the second assist on the Wingels goal.

Six minutes later, the offenses from both sides really cranked it up.

Anthony Duclair tied the game at 14:02 after a flurry of shots on Crawford.

Artem Anisimov took a neat pass from Patrick Kane only 71 seconds after the Duclair goal and gave Chicago the lead once again.

With his 18th assist of the season on Anisimov’s goal, Kane posted the 780th point of his career – moving him into fifth place in the history of the Blackhawks franchise.

Less than two minutes later, Kane moved another point closer to Steve Larmer on the Hawks’ all-time leader board when he perfectly navigated a 2-on-1 and set up Nick Schmaltz for the Blackhawks’ third goal of the night.

The goal is the fifth of the year for Schmaltz and Kane’s 19th assist of the season.

Scott Wedgewood actually had a pretty good game for Arizona but was exposed by the Hawks in the third period. He stopped 34 of 37 in the game.

On the other end of the ice, Crawford was superb once again. Chicago’s netminder stopped 31 of 32 to earn the victory.

Vinnie Hinostroza and Brent Seabrook led the Blackhawks with five shots on goal each. Hinostroza, in his second game since being recalled from Rockford, skated 11:52 and won 10 of 15 faceoffs. He was also credited with one blocked shot, two hits and one takeaway in a solid performance.

Seabrook also led Chicago with four hits in 19:43 while blocking two hits and picking up an assist. Only three Blackhawks defensemen skated more than 20 minutes in the game: Duncan Keith (22:25), Gustav Forsling (20:36) and Oesterle (20:18). Oesterle had a nice game as well, adding a team-high three blocked shots, four shots on net and two hits to his assist.

The Blackhawks will host the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.

37 thoughts on “Crawford, Blackhawks Top Coyotes

  1. Were going streaking.
    Miss Veronica Vaughn.

    Team defense and PK playing good/getting better. Like LA and BOS was low scoring type teams. Get the OFF going/scoring as well.

  2. Impressed with how much better Schmaltz is skating this year, and Hino makes this a more dynamic team. Forsling fun to watch, and get better right before our eyes. D-Cat made a pass in the first period that not many could make….
    First two periods were awful.

    I’ve heard, and agree Saad will be important in the playoffs but he needs to be better now to help get this team into the playoffs. Keith has been turning the puck over a lot in the last several games. There was a lot of negativity about Bouma and Wingels-perhaps the two most consistent players all year.

  3. Our young core has to build their confidence against lower tier teams. My best guess is that Q and the coaching staff is hoping that as the 4th line starts to contribute, the other lines will be pushed to another level.

    Again, Forsling, Ruuta and Osterle looking really solid. As usual, the most underrated goalie in the league is still keeping this team in every game until the offense kicks in.

    Right now, we have 4 lines that can create scoring chances and finish. We have 3 sets of D that can play against any opposing line. Things are looking up but we need a little more consistency out of lines 1, 2 and 3.

    Let’s roll on Tuesday!!

  4. A masterpiece it wasn’t but it was 2 points. CC outstanding again.

    It’s time to drill with the heavy ball so hopefully Hawks players can get a better feel for the puck when it’s on their stick of when receiving a pass. I’ve never seen the puck explode off their sticks when they tried to receive a pass like it was tonight.

    Nice to have Hinostroza’s speed in the lineup. He looks pretty good.

  5. Thank God for Tommy Wingels this weekend. 2 very clutch goals.
    Oesterle needs play more often. Good feet. Good pivots. Can play fast hockey.
    Murphy has really been excellent lately. Eddie O. Had some really positive comments about him in the telecast.
    Hinostroza looks real hungry. He really wiring the puck when he gets the chance to shoot.
    Maybe we can make a Sharp a Blackhawks Ambassador, like immediately.
    Free drinks. Wave to the fans. Sign Autographs. He doesn’t even have to show his AARP card.

  6. I’ve repeatedly been impressed by the 4th line. They are the most consistent line the Blackhawks have. That first line. Man oh man. They’re just eerily quiet. Sharp and Panik? Invisible. Everyone else showed up. Oesterle!!! He had a really solid game. Not bad for a guy who couldn’t get a sniff of the ice. DeBrincat continues to bring it. Schmaltz can, actually, shoot the puck. Even the radio and tv guys were shocked. He needs to do that consistently. I get that he wants to feed Kane, but he needs to read the situations better and take more shots.
    Yes, the first 2 periods were just underwhelming. I’m glad the 4th line was able to inspire everyone else.
    Just for fun, humor me, it’s not going to happen, BUT…how about Panik, Kempny, and Sharp for Domi? Yeah. I know it’s a b.s. thought. I always liked the brand of hockey that Tie brought to the game and his kid is even better. It’d be great to have a Domi in the Indian Head. Okay, dreams over. Carry on!!!
    Glad we got the W.

  7. Craig-wishful thinking but I vote that you get 24 hours as GM.

    Ernie have you seen Dahlstrom skate? Just Curious.

  8. Oesterle hasn’t played in eons, was rusty, and looked better than Franson. Once healthy, Franson can join Kempny and keep him company.

  9. It is hard not to be impressed with the 4th line. Even before they started scoring regularly, they were a force. Now they are monsters. Hinostroza and Schmaltz really do add a new dimension. Schmaltz looked great on the play where he blew by the defenseman and tried to stuff it in and Hinostroza regularly creates havoc. Maybe Schmaltz enjoyed the feeling of that goal so much that he will continue to shoot trying to get more. He has been better about shooting in the last 5 periods he has played. Panik was visible again, but still came up empty. The effort last night would probably not have been good enough against a good team, but it feels like a step forward anyway.

  10. I couldn’t make it to the game last night, but while watching I was happy to have missed the driving and the snoozefest this game was for 2 periods. Wow, talk about sloppy….TV viewing was a good choice for that contest and thankfully it was an early start.

    I am not sure how to explain why Hawks passing crispness has lapsed and has been inconsistent. When they hit the tape to players in stride this team is pretty good, but man this has become a disturbing trend. We saw in the 3rd period when some good passes connected the quality scoring chances increased and goals were the result. This can get consistently better, it has to if this team is to progress.

    Crow was great again. They needed him on his game as a softy could have spelled defeat in a game they again struggled offensively and in a game they had to win to keep close in the standings.

    Oesterle played really well considering he had not seen game time in quite awhile. I think he has upside. Franson out hopefully gives this kid a chance to play some more. I still don’t know how Kempny fell into such disfavor with Q, but he gets paid to coach and I don’t.

    Hino is a good add the past few games. Hawks just need to score more goals, and those goals need to come from guys like Saad and Panik on a consistent basis. Fourth line production has been a huge bonus lately. Oesterle said in post game WGN interview that the guys have been playing tight and feeling pressure to score. When that happens players over think instead of playing naturally. PP is a prime example of this. The PP still looks as though they are just pressing and consequently making it easy for opposing teams to shut em down. Winning a few faceoffs to keep possession in the O zone would really help too.

    Get this game tomorrow and go to play the Jet with confidence. Big one Thursday and a good test.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  11. The Yotes suck! The Hawks were better and took 2 pts! Let’s keep it going! Kane is one of the best passers all time. That pass to Schmaltz on a backcheck no less was pretty! I think its time to give SB a lot of credit for the Forsling trade. Here was a 5th round prospect buried in Vancouver’s farm system and SB singles him out and trades (Adam Clendening) a 2nd round pick who was lighting up the AHL from the blue line for an 18 yr old kid from Sweden. If I run into SB again at the MB center I’m legit going to ask him what he saw in Forsling cause this kid is poised on taking it to a WHOLE another level! Forsling has been really fun to watch.

    Reward Forsling for hid play and start playing Forsling on the top PP unit the PP has been a disaster all season; If Dineen can stomach they should try to play Kane at the point with Forsling, Anisminov, ADC, Saad down low. Then run out the 2010 unit of Toews Seabs, Keith, Sharp and (pick someone else).

  12. I want to stand corrected thought that Hinostra was nothing but his game is improved from last year a lot more controlled. Ernie do you know more about Dahlstrom I sure like his size 6’4″ and over 220 lbs. Thought Osterle had a solid game. Let’s go Hawks get on a good roll. Glad to see Corey get 1st star he deserves it most nights.
    GO HAWKS!!

  13. Got me thinking about SB top 5 trades? Any takers? Not a strong list

    Michael Handzus for a 4th rounder
    Cam Barker for Nick Leddy & the mystery of Kim Johnson?
    Dahlbeck for Vermette
    Panik for Morin
    Future considerations for Nick Boynton

  14. The rights for Brouwer for a 1st that ended up being Danault ain’t bad either.

    Bollig for a 3rd.

    Panik for Morin

  15. Did anyone else feel like the top line is cursed? I’m referring to when Debrincat was unable to finish with the wide open net. That was a play that had he finished could have gotten that line going again and when he got stoned it was like, “Here we go again…”

  16. Love Schmaltzy! I think he eventually needs to become the 2nd line centre with Saad and Kane. If we can give a natural left winger like JURCO or IACOPELLI a shot playing sooner rather than later, then we have size and speed throughout this lineup. Maybe teams will bite at Panik, Franson, Bouma and Osterle for trades. Time to give Dahlstrom and Jurco a chance. Benching Hartman does not solve anything. he needs to play right wing alongside his buddy Vinny at centre with Jurco on the wing.
    Barely beat the 2 worst teams in the league but you can see Vinny speed makes a difference.
    And why is Q still using players out oif position. Too small left shooting dmen Keith and Osterle playimg together while two Big slow footed right shooting dmen in Seabrooke and Murphy playing together. Makes no sense?
    Keith and Murphy, Osterle (Dahlstrom) with Seabrooke.
    Those paiting do not stand a chance against Tampa Bay or other elite teams in the league.

  17. Bouma has a spot on this roster. Jurco has always been a very good AHL player but is all but worthless in the show. Have you ever seen Dahlstrom play?

    The 2 big, slow right shot dmen playing together have had the best +/- of any pair since they’ve been together.

    Oesterle was only with Keith due to injury.

    Schmaltz is as much a center as Teuvo was. If you can’t crack 40% at the dot, you can’t play center in this league. They only try him out of necessity…sort of like when they tried Kane at center. That worked out well didn’t it?

    Didn’t those same D pairings take Tampa into OT the only time they’ve played? Sounds like they had a chance…

    Totti??

  18. Well, face offs at 40% does not demote you as a centre especially when you were drafted as one. You can work on that by being a centre for a couple of years. Anisimov is not that great either. And if you look at the top scoring centremen in the league, you will see they hover around 40-45% anyway. You need to be s special player to play your opposite wing. There are a handful of them in the league: Ovechkin, Kane, Panarin, Hossa??? Anyone else? Then, don’t draft a centre if you need a left or a right winger. Because, then drafting a right winger like Hartman who scored 19 goals last year and trying him at centre seems dysfunctional to me.
    I think Jurco can play in this league especially ahead of Bouma. If we continue to tgake this conservative approach and fall in love with Wingels and Bouma while Hartman, Hinnostroza, Jurco waste there time in AHL or in the stands, then we will remain a .500 team. I remember Dave Bolland, a 100 point man in Junior ending his career in Chicago on the 4th line. All I am saying is this team will not win the CUP in June of 2018. Therefore, why are we trying to stay afloat with BOUMA and WINGELS in the lineup every day. If a player is doing well in the AHL, giuve a few games…
    By the way, If our organization drafted Dalhstrom in the 2nd round then our scouting staff saw him in the NHL.

  19. I was at last night’s game at the UC. Yes, a snooze fest indeed for the first two periods. And, of course, the stands were pretty quiet throughout what seemed like 40 minutes immediately after a big Thanksgiving dinner.

    But I have an honest question ……. can the McDonough led geniuses in the Blackhawks organization do something …… something at all …… to try and get the fans motivated? Does the organ no longer work? (insert joke here).

    I’ve been to three Blackhawks games this season. Each time I’ve felt like I was at a Chicago Wolves game on kiddie night. I’m getting kind of tired of the minor league shenanigans that go on.

    There was a time when things were a bit serious at the UC. There was the “One Goal” attitude in the media and in the stands. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like the “marketing” during the game has changed. And it’s flat out annoying.

    F*cking T-Shirt Tossing WHILE THE PUCK IS IN PLAY!!!!! (sorry about the all caps but that really pissed me off). They are getting ready to drop the puck and Gene Honda announces that it’s T-Shirt Toss Time, sponsored by who the hell ever, and while the play is going on there are T-shirts being flung and shot by hip teenagers and Tommy Hawk. This goes on for about three trips up and back prior to a whistle blow. Direct the attention toward the game, for God’s sake!

    Then, there are multiple times throughout the game where some young woman is screeching over the PA and on the scoreboard screen who talks so fast no one has a clue as to what she is saying, while someone plays some dumb game. I know it’s some promotional thing sponsored by someone and the Blackhawks likely get some money out of the deal, but for God’s sake, it’s annoying. And the Blackhawks don’t need that money.

    Nothing really directed toward getting the crowd into the game. It would be nice if the play on the ice had everyone revved up, but it’s not always going to happen. If the players supposedly feed off of the home crowd, then cut out the minor league baseball “we’re desperate to get little kids and their families into the game” marketing ploy and gear what you’re doing toward the action on the ice. We people in the stands don’t want someone droning on about how you can text in your choice for which of two artists (who everyone in my section said “who the hell are they”) you can hear during the second intermission.

    This is a silly rant, I know, but I think there’s some merit to it. Cut out the crap. The ticket prices have gone up drastically. People are used to winning hockey. The people that are there aren’t there for a sideshow. Come on McDonough. Quit being “Cubs” (the way they used to be).

    The Blackhawks don’t need to be like the mustard clad hillrods of Nashville (still love that comment) and don’t need to be cheap. But for God’s sake, it’s a professional hockey game that people take seriously. It’s not Chuck-E-Cheese. Spending an entire ice manicuring session with panning the crowd with the camera and putting bunny noses and buck teeth on them is great. If you’re f*cking five.

    Sorry, had to get that out of my system. The players need to get damn serious. The management and marketing staff need to also.

    Go Blackhawks!!!!

  20. Ernie and Dave M – I haven’t seen Dahlstrom play but have been intrigued that he seems to be showing real potential this year. In addition to the offense I think he also leads the team in +/-. Go to the Ice Hogs website and view the comments after Saturday’s game from the new coach. He seems like a pretty straight shooting guy and he clearly believes Dahlstrom has the tools to be an NHL d-man, however sounds like he needs more tough love to improve his consistency shift to shift and game to game. There is also an interview with Dahlstrom who speaks better English than many North Americans.

  21. Havnt been there in couple yrs didnt know they did that. Cant have stuff like that do that during warmups or intermissions only. Remember Phil talking about speakers being way too loud. Did they fix that yet. Get rid of those cheap loud speakers and get some Klipsch speakers in there with quality and proper volume levels. As you turn up sound it holds the quality.

    Also think every rink should have a required quality level of ice conditions and that the glass separations be silver galvanized. Cannot have diff colors between glasses for home team. Distracting. Only silver type color metal. Same for center ice line graffiti.

    They got the LED lights is good. Bring back the classic organ. This organization seems to always be doing something good since 2008. Must have something coming to spark everybody before start of 19 season.

  22. Jurco can’t play a 4th line game. Bouma can and had done so effectively.

    Being drafted as a center means nothing. Centers are like center fielders and short stops. When coming up the best players on the team play center. Even when he was in college they had him playing more right wing and he was sub 40% …in college! Hartman played all 3 forward positions his draft year. Where and when youre drafted means absolutely nothing.

    How many 2nd round picks don’t pan out? Probably more than half. I was a fan of Dahlstrom when they drafted him, his size was needed. I still like him. See my comment above. But we don’t know yet. He’s still young. We all liked Stephen Johns and he’s been meh.

    The scouting staff also drafted Kyle Beach and Mark McNeil. It’s a crapshoot. And if you get 2 impactful picks a year you’re doing good. You draft on how skill projects and immediately forget where they were drafted or what you gave up to get that pick as it’s abritrary.

    This team has lots of guys just getting their feet wet. If they get in the playoffs anything can happen. To rule out a 2018 Stanley cup is just plain narrow minded foolishness.

  23. To further my point on why you don’t rule out a young team with growing chemistry in early december…. their last 10 games… only 1 team in the league has better posession numbers. The Blues just barely edge the Hawks out in SAT%. That and a solid penalty kill are 2 things the team had regressed at the last 2 years. The goals should come.

  24. I think I’ve gotta go decaf during the later parts of the day.

    I think that Hinostroza has added a little bit that Hartman wasn’t providing, for whatever reason. Hartman’s edge to his game and his presence around the puck is not as evident this year. I just don’t think you can bust those fourth line guys up or take them out, so Hartman may be the man out for awhile.

    Watched Sunday’s game on replay after being there in person. Actually looked a little better on TV the second time around. The passing is just a bit off. Some of it is timing, and some of it might be a bit lazy. If that gets cleaned up by just 25% there are going to be more pretty good chances. Ain’t giving up. Hoping for a little more jump against Florida.

    Go Blackhawks!!!!

  25. @ Ernie

    I can appreciate you not ruling out the cup in Dec as that would be foolish. I’m curious to know how you think this team has faired against other Western playoff teams?

  26. Well said Big Indian! You are preaching to choir. I agree with everything you said regarding the UC Hawks game experience. The t shirt toss is simply ridiculous. People standing up trying to get these crappy shirts like there are $100 bills rolled up in them. Then people in the stands remain standing well after the puck has been dropped thinking somehow they will get a shirt. I’m there to watch a hockey game ya know? All the jumbotron giveaway gimmicks and stupid games in the stands that are ear splitting. Yes, more organ music! I think the rock music volume has been turned down compared with recent years. The Hawks brass are top heavy on marketing to widen the fan base. Sorry to say but bringing really little kids under 4 and babies to Hawks games is stupid. Get a baby sitter.

    I don’t pay expensive ticket prices for all that peripheral crap. I am there pure and simple to watch my team play NHL hockey in person because you can’t beat live up and down the ice hockey.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  27. The Hawks have played 7 total western conference games since November 1.

    LA 3-1 loss (Kopitar with empty netter) on 12/3- 54.3 SAT%
    Dallas SO loss on 12/2- 43.37 SAT%
    Dallas OT loss on 11/30- 43.06 %
    Nashville 3-2 loss on 11/28- 54.00%
    Anaheim 7-3 win on 11/27 -61.86%
    Minnesota 2-0 win on 11/4- 60.61%

    All the losses have been close. All but 2 they’ve won the shot attempts for battle. Its a start. With such an eastern conference heavy schedule its tough to form an opinion.

  28. Agree Phil. I think it was an outdoor game with the Jets, parents were complaining because their infant kids couldnt go. They shouldnt be going anyway.

    I have to applaud Nashville and their fans. That place rocks. The chants, the music…its impressive. I agree more should be done to get the fans in the game. I’m not sure more organ music is the answer. Louder rock, more alcohol, and fast paced hockey. For the most part as far as total shot attempts (for both teams goes where more usually is more exciting…
    https://twitter.com/ChartingHockey/status/940303179631202305

    A good read on the origin of the Nashville chants…apparently Nashville had a minor league team and 3 guys had season tickets and would come up with goofy chants. When the NHL team came those guys got nosebleed season tickets and took their chanting with. Those 3 guys turned into a whole arena.

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/nashville-predators-chant-stanley-cup-final-1.4148655

  29. Unfortunately for us “diehard” hockey fans and old school hockey ex-coaches, the game has become an “event”. It’s not just about the game on the ice anymore. It’s about new cars in the lobby, doing business in a skybox, taking a survey on the way to the bathroom, taking selfies and putting them on Facebook and trying to get your face on the TV camera. It has become so much of an event that people do not pay attention to the game, anymore.

    As far as Nashville goes……….that venue is a dump and the fans wouldn’t know a good hockey game if it fell out of the sky. Their songs and little rhymes are as infantile as the football players who dance after a touchdown. I am of the opinion that fans who pay money to enter an arena / field to watch a game should be entertained by the game itself, not all the crap around the game. Leave the little kids (under 7) at home and go out and enjoy a good game.

    All this being said, I can’t (and don’t) speak for everyone. I just miss the days of going to a game and enjoying it for what it was, a game.

  30. I didn’t meant the venue was good. Just that it’s loud and obnoxious. They’re enjoying the experience.

    I agree the event has become too commercial, but that’s the era we live in. Just dont pay attention to that. You can still enjoy the game itself and have a raucous crowd. I’m not much of an over the top type. But do enjoy at least hearing that on tv rather than crickets.

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