Crawford Superb, Blackhawks Beat Knights In Vegas

For the first time in a while the Blackhawks looked fast, kept up the pace and took it to a good team.

It was fun to watch.

But it didn’t start that way.

Vegas scored twice in the opening 6:29 of the game to take a 2-0 lead and it felt like another Hawks loss to the Golden Knights. Vegas was flying and the Hawks were on their heels. Vegas’ second goal, by William Karlsson, came on a power play.

Thankfully Patrick Kane is red hot right now.

Kane’s goal came 16 seconds after the Karlsson tally and gave the Blackhawks new life. Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome picked up the assists on Kane’s ninth of the season.

After Kane’s goal the final 13 minutes of the first period were a track meet. The teams flew up and down the ice trading chances. The quality of goaltending from Corey Crawford and Marc-Andre Fleury was incredible and the pace was fantastic.

At the conclusion of 20 minutes of hockey Vegas had a 16-8 shot advantage and led Chicago 2-1 on the scoreboard.

Early in the second period it appeared for a moment that Alex Tuch had tied the game. The play was reviewed and the puck hit the crossbar and bounced out. Chicago remained within one – for moments.

Before the crowd in Vegas sat down from the ruling of the Tuch no-goal Zack Smith set up Calvin de Haan for his first goal as a member of the Blackhawks.

The assist was the 100th helper in Smith’s career. Kirby Dach had the second assist on de Haan’s game-tying goal.

Chicago broke the tie 45 seconds later on another terrific pass, this time from Strome to Erik Gustafsson.

Kane picked up the second assist on the Gustafsson goal.

The final 15 minutes of the second period were more insane than the first period. Crawford and Fleury continued to make ridiculous saves, the two teams continued to fly up and down the ice and neither team wanted to sustain puck possession for very long. These two teams were intent on scoring and had the green light to shoot as soon as they had a look.

At 10:45 into the second Crawford was called for allegedly throwing his stick and Jonathan Marchessault was awarded a penalty shot. It was a garbage call and the puck didn’t lie; Marchessault whiffed on the penalty shot attempt.

When the horn sounded after 40 minutes of hockey both netminders took a deep breath. The shot totals showed Vegas out-shooting Chicago 31-17. But the Blackhawks had a 3-2 lead heading to the third.

Dach continues to get thrown around the ice and took a number of big hits in the first and second periods. One, late in the first, appeared to have him knock heads with an opponent. Another was an awkward hit into the wall in front of the Vegas bench. He has to get stronger on his skates and be more aware or one of these hits is going to do some serious damage; he already missed time because of a concussion suffered at a rookie tournament before the season.

But he continued skating hard and took advantage of his opportunities. Dach scored his third of the season at 3:57 into the third period to extend Chicago’s lead to 4-2.

Smith and Ryan Carpenter were credited with the assists. The goal gave Dach the first multi-point game of his NHL career.

At 16:39 into the third Strome broke through and scored his fourth of the year to put the final nail in the coffin.

With Strome’s goal the Blackhawks comfortably finished the final three minutes of regula… just kidding. Nate Schmidt rifled a shot through a screen and cut the lead to two with 60 seconds left in regulation.

That would conclude the scoring, however, and the Hawks earned the first win against the Vegas franchise.

Who wants to have a multi-point night? Kane and Strome each had three-point nights (one goal, two assists each). DeBrincat and Smith had two assists each. And Dach had two points with one goal and one assist.

de Haan was magnificent on the back end. He skated 21:38 and led Chicago with three blocked shots officially. He was also credited with four hits and one takeaway.

Crawford faced 42 shots in the game, stopping 39. He was a stud the entire night.

56 thoughts on “Crawford Superb, Blackhawks Beat Knights In Vegas

  1. I kept thinking to myself how useless Dach is on the ice and he should probably just be sent down to make room for someone else….then he scores that goal….so I guess we will see him playing the rest of the season with the hawks.

    Also, I think they’re on to something here with two starting goaltenders. Wonder if other teams in the league will eventually start paying two goalies #1 salaries to have a solid chance every night?

  2. That was craziness. Nice to be on the fun end of crazy for once.
    I thought for sure Dach would be out after that head hit. Yikes.
    Fleury was pissed on that Strome goal. He went all Mike Smith and tried to break his stick. Haha.
    Can this deHaan show up every night, please?

    Good night guys. Fingers crossed this same team shows up in Nashville.
    Sleep well.

  3. Run and gun from both teams, Kanes quick answer goal after going down 2 0, got them playing after looking like be a long night was a big turning point.
    Textbook 3rd mostly, early goal won the first 5 mins, didn’t lose the middle 10 mins and took it home last 5. Only allowed 11 shots in 3rd and not alot of dangerous ones. Crawford is back, no doubt about that. Now payback in music city up next.
    Bpqvist looks very good, likely goes diwn for awhile but alot stronger defensively than expected, still learning and mistakes part of it but when he comes back from Rfd should be ready to shine.
    Dach taking punishment but playing well, if concussion is a concern, he shouldn’t be playing anywhere, if he’s cleared to play risk of another same in juniors as it is Nhl.

  4. This should build some confidence – overcame a lot of adversity in a tough building. Protected a lead in the 3rd including a solid PK. Fun to watch Dach score some big goals in the last two games. He keeps taking a beating but he is getting more comfortable and is showing some great hands. Thought the 2 new d-men (Matta and DeHaan) were solid tonight. Another great goaltending performance.

  5. 4 in 6 days for Vegas. That was the excuse.

    What ours

    2 in 11 days
    2 in 7 days
    5 in 7 days
    5 days off
    6 in 9 days

    Sure.

  6. 10-10 afer last yr of 9-18 and almost making playoffs, tied with 3 teams for 7 and 8 seed with 10 games to go.

    Around 10-10 we are there, once we get going.

    win or tie in 6 of 7 games?

  7. A very solid response from the Hawks after the initial push that Vegas always puts on at home but can not sustain.Hawks looked quick to the puck and overall a faster playing team tonight.They are definitely playing a different system now allowing their forwards to stay higher up opening up the stretch passes so they are able to punish teams that crash their defense deep in the offensive zone.Crawford was rock solid and controlled rebounds.Defense gave him good looks.On the other side of things,BOQVIST has to got to start skating and moving his feet.He has shown soft hands and handles the puck but i am not seeing this speed he has.At the end of shifts the forwards have to get the puck deep and cross corner it so a change can get completed.Nylander was not good at that tonight.As said by others here,DACH has got to learn to protect himself.He cant keep taking this punishment.Saturday should be a very telling early season game for this team.

  8. Boqvist has played pretty well in the d-zone. He engages physically and holds his own better than I expected. Where he needs to get better are on plays like the interference penalty tonight. He seems slow to react when the puck all of a sudden is headed the other way. There’s been several times when it looks like he’s flat footed because he doesn’t read the play quickly enough to get his feet moving back toward his d-zone. But I suspect it has more to do with him still getting used to the speed of the NHL and knowing when to try to hold the blue line and when to bail back to the d-zone.

  9. D pairs when Murphy returns likely to be,
    2 5
    44 7
    6 56 and 27 after/if 56 moved

    Lines looking pretty good, Nylander has to start scoring or he may end up in Rfd. A liability on defense, won’t go near the boards. Opposing teams can skate up that wing along the boards anytime without a challenge from him. A nice pass now and then or open ice poke check once in awhile doesn’t do it.

  10. Strome has found last years gear and confidence. That is huge.

    Gustafson looks like he is believing in his shot and offensive abilities. That’s a positive.

    Nylander is now floating around aimlessly. Colliton had him out there in garbage time and he got scored on. Saad feathered him a gorgeous pass in the first period on a 2-on-1 and he fumbled the pass right into Fleury. Prime chance, blown.
    So if he’s struggling mightily offensively and is loafing on defense he should be sent to Rockford.

    Hard to believe but Zack Smith has suddenly turned into a player.

  11. Any one notice Hawks playing better since Keith’s comments? Could it be the core is just ignoring J C?

  12. Hawks have got to protect Dach. Don’t want his career cut short being used before he is physically ready. Send his down, come back next year stronger.

    2 goalie system….so far so good. But can a team devote around 14% of the cap to that position?

  13. Keith and Dehaan. Both fantastic games. Keith looked quick again this game and made mostly smart quick decisions, despite having to clean up Gus’s messes a fair bit – as usual. Zack Smith with a great game despite me likely not being alone in much preferring to see Caggiula in the lineup. More patience is needed with Nylander. I see a guy with fantastic skill and instincts learning what he can and can’t do and get away with at the NHL level against men. His passing and vision is sublime and when he is confident, he can dominate puck possession and play making on a shift as well as put in a decent effort on a backcheck even if no one is going to mistake that part of his game for Hossa, Sharp, vintage Toews, Saad, etc. Crawford was world class, Dach looks good, needs more ice time and will create more when given more gifted lineups which will happen at some point. Yes he needs to learn to not get crushed as much. Maybe he should watch videos of Kane avoiding hits. On second thought maybe not. Dach already helps out on the boards and comes away with the puck on more boards battles than Kane ever did. Oh did I mention it’s great to see Kane back playing the way he can these last 5 or 6 games. Basically since he was given DCat and Strome to play with after inviting them both to train with him all season, it’s obvious they developed some ch3mistry. Now if we can keep them out of their own zone with quick smart breakouts and get Toews going somehow- his lack of scoring results this year is getting absurd now, we might really get something going. Nice to see the offence beginning to gain some swagger back. Hope has returned. Let’s get some serious revenge on Nashville Saturday now!

  14. I loved how quickly some people got on Strome, even saying he was useless. Now he has two skilled east-west players on his line and his strengths are coming through.
    It’s fun hockey to watch, but hard to envision this in a playoff setting.

    I’ve seen a lot of Zach Smith and he has parts of the year where you shake your head, he’s that effective.

    Great game by Crow.

  15. Maybe Toews should watch the replays and “go to school” as it seems Fluery was being beaten high on most of the goals and not through the five hole. I enjoyed hearing nearly 60 minutes of play by play instead of a dozen “shout outs” mixed in with 30 minutes of laughing and scratching talking about everything except what’s going on on the ice.

  16. Good to see the Hawks step it up and after being down 2-0….them came right back with the Kane goal and I do believe that gave them confidence. Is it ok to put out here…….I have 4 tickets to Sundays game against Buffalo section 306/ Row 11 /seats 18-21 if anyone interested, face value..

  17. It might be time to pull the plug on Nylander. That pathetic zone exit where he turned the puck over and got nailed to the bench as a result is probably the kind of thing that will continue. Some guys learn from getting benched. With others it is just who they are. It appears this is who Nylander is. He gets sat over and over and still comes out and does the same stuff.

    The Zack Smith haters had a tough night last night. He was great. Hands of stone Kampf made some great defensive plays as well.

    When Fleury is vulnerable high glove side, our Captain keeps trying to stuff it 5 hole.

    The new style of play seems to have re-energized Gus. But he probably is who he is too.

    This game was great fun to watch, but is it a winning formula to have your goaltender constantly under duress? It would not have been as fun a game to watch if Crow hadn’t been so magnificent. If he had been average, we would be on here crying about the defense. Because he was great, some are thinking this is a turnaround. Last year, right before Q got fired, the Hawks won some games at the beginning of the season that they probably had no business winning. Is that repeating?

  18. Some great comments on this board.

    JB, I have to agree with you about Foley. His shtick is becoming nauseating. You’re also right about Toews going five hole too often.

    You have to wonder why JC didn’t keep Kane, Strome and DeBrincat together all along. Strome shows his skill so much better with talented players around him. He has just terrific vision and timing even if his skating and hands are not top-notch.

    Speaking of hands, Dach’s are phenomenal. His ability to control pucks are off the charts. Look at video of his Junior games.

  19. I’m trying to figure out if this small stretch of success is progress or if its just the type of offensive upswing that happens at some point during the year.

    The Hawks are still giving up 40+ shots and too many high danger scoring chances each night to talented offensive teams while getting stellar goaltending from both Lehner and Crow. That can’t be sustainable. Has JC given up on implementing a system that limits shots and scoring chances because this team has a better chance to win each night by relying on goaltending to bail them out while taking advantage of odd man rushes and quick strikes in the offensive zone? I’m just not sure that is a sustainable formula to get back to the playoffs.

  20. Now that was entertaining hockey! Impressive comeback on the road and Hawks finally beat those guys. I am not sure how long our keepers can keep up this pace with all the rubber they are facing game in game out, but this wide open style Hawks have embraced certainly has the players looking much more engaged. People at that game last night probably have sore necks this morning given the up and down pace played by both teams.

    So pleased to see Crow in such great form. He and Lehner have been simply amazing.

    Kane could have had 4-5 goals last night. Kirby Dach may get the Timex rookie of the year award. Seems like he is getting targeted just about every game. I give him credit in not backing down. Just hope he doesn’t get his bell rung bad where he misses games. Keep your head up kid. I like that Dach and Boqvist are getting valuable NHL minutes. These youngsters have talent.

    Line adjustments are paying off and players meshing much better. The darkness of 2 weeks ago has lifted. While still getting badly outshot and giving up lots of quality scoring chances, at least they are getting many more scoring opportunities themselves. If they could only clean up play in their own end.

    Some redemption in Nashville Saturday? Would really love to see that as the last visit there was an historically ugly Hawks horror show on ice. Preds usually bring a withering forecheck. If Hawks can manufacture zone exits with speed in the face of an aggressive forecheck it will be huge step forward for this team.

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  21. @JB your comments re: home games/Foley/Edzo are why I’ve been putting the tv on mute and listening to Widemann & Murray on my app more and more often lately.
    There’s a bit of a delay but I can handle that more than the yuk yuk yukking all.the.time…

  22. Good call.

    Listening to the same jokes is painful.

    Soft serve ice cream
    Tirteen
    ShAAaarks

    Konroyd may be boring but at least Foley then stays on the game.

    Edzo is also way better without Foley.

  23. Edzo is a terrific analyst – he sees plays in live action that other can only see in slo-mo replay. Foley is also not bad as a play-by-play guy when he’s doing play-by-play. The problem is when they’re together they can’t control their bromance and they end up slavering all over each other and it’s not only awkward it detracts from what they do well. Konroyd has a calming effect on Foley and seems like a nice guy but he makes idiotic statements like “Crawford is one of the best puck handling goalies in the NHL” so he’s a little difficult to stomach.

    John and Troy on the radio are excellent but the delay bugs me too much to do that.

  24. Craig, I thought Smith looked not good at first and then didnt play some games. Then when he got some games after that thought he looked good in about half or more then half the games now. I thought he could be a player and was banged up early in season, even though he didnt look good at first.

    65 and 15 get it going then yuor talking about what the idea was with these guys and now all the sudden we have a deep roster again.

  25. The Pat and Eddie Show is pretty lame but I agree when Foley just calls the game he’s good

    Does anyone know when Caggiula for concussed? – he was at practice on Tuesday

    Have to admit I didn’t think ZackSmith had it in him anymore to play like he did – can he do that consistently is the question

    Nice to see Dach getting more TOI and doing well with it – that line for now seems a good place for him – I like that he doesn’t shy away from contact but he does have to learn to avoid getting crushed all the time

  26. I’m assuming Caggiula’s concussion happened when he got hit in the face with a puck in the Toronto game. He came back out and played later in the game, but was dropped and down for awhile when it happened. May be still feeling the effects even though he practiced.

    I love Foley and Eddie because they are part of the Blackhawks history when it comes to the overall experience of the last several years. In full agreement, however, that there should be more play by play and less peripheral banter. I’d like to see Eddie do more of the telestrator analysis on the local broadcasts like he used to. He does more on the National broadcasts. It would still be hard for me to imagine the broadcasts without the both of them. And, I do like Konroyd quite a bit.

  27. I hate talking about ref’s calls but that penalty shot call against us was nuts. Why isn’t that reviewable or challengeable? I thought Crow was really locked in on the shot – he looked really confident.

    Tough call on Nylander – he has continued to make the same mistakes when handling the puck near the blue line but he also makes some amazing plays. The pass he made to Saad last night was one. I think I would move him down the lineup before sending him to Rockford. Maybe playing against 3rd or 4th line guys instead of top line will put less pressure on him and allow him to gain some more confidence. We have to remember that he and Cat are still 21 and Strome is 22 – still pretty young in terms of experience in the league.

  28. Agree that Foley and Eddie are both good when they are apart, although Foley sometimes confuses numbers. But even Doc Emerick has done that. It is a hard sport to call. Their yukking it up is OK during breaks, although a bit tedious if you watch almost every game. However, they will go 20 seconds during play discussing one of their asides. There have been times when they were yakking and Foley had to interrupt what they were talking about and say, “He scores!” Having Konroyd makes for a better overall experience as Foley stays on topic when Konroyd is around, despite the fact that Eddie is a better announcer. Eddie with soft serve and Foley with tree tirty tree have REALLY run their course. They also do too many “shout outs” during play. They don’t start them during play but allow them to continue too long. Maybe we are hyper-critical. I don’t think so, but am open to the possibility.

  29. Foley used to be a really good announcer but he just doesn’t seem that interested in the hockey anymore. A couple of weeks ago during a game he went on and on about honoring a sister from his church. I am sure this individual is a wonderful human being and very derserving of the honor but there isn’t one other team whose announcers would do something like this and it happens all the time.

  30. Right on with the bromance comments; thats it right there.
    Konroyd puts me to sleep; I’d rather hear Sharp in that role eventually, to be honest. But he likes his NHL Network spot. I hit mute whenever Pierre is on anyway, which is a good hockey life hack in general.
    Cheers guys. Here’s to hoping the Preds go down Saturday.

  31. Wrap, in Colliton talking to reporters said he wasn’t sure when it happened but Cagguila went to staff yesterday before practice saying he wasn’t feeling right. Puck in face could be very well when it happened, unless something happened during drills on Tuesday.

  32. Yes, Foley and Eddie together are a real drag. I get sick of the Human interest stories, and who is a “good guy”. Just shut up already. As for last night’s game, very entertaining. Smith had his best game as a Blackhawk so far, and the Strome line is playing very well. It’s still bad news in our own end. Way too many chances against.

  33. I just don’t know what to think about Dach. He has his moments as evidenced by his 2 points, but most of the night he looked lost and slow, often getting in the way of others trying to make plays. And I know we’re talking about him bulking up or whatnot, but literally you poke this guy and he falls over. I think he could really up his game and confidence in rockford this season and come back more experienced next year.

  34. With the points comparison, how many GF does ARI have and CHI have. Are they a higher scoring team. What % of the teams GF is that for each player.

    JT, prob both. To me the sch is starting to be more normal as well, so I would add that to that. Were getting closer to that 20 game mark Hoss stands by. Same with new summer players in this system. Just imagine if we have a good Defenseive system with these goalies.

    Its fine to have galoies at 11m, this yr, and when you have enough elc guys. Not when the elc guys are in bridges and main contracts.

  35. Stef, put your dvr on the tv for that lag.

    MS, I do not like to talk about refs more then needed. They do screw teams over from time and its bullshit. The league in every sport needs to have the ruels set up in a way that every call is reviewable no matter what by the teams.

    Instant replay is suppose to help the refs and get the call right. Not be an additional weapon to screw one of the teams. I do not care how much time it takes out from the game, because every sport has tv timeouts so you just simply use one of the tv timeouts for every review. Then the same time for overall is same and every call is reviewable no matter what by the teams and its the same overall time for the game.

    No brainer.

  36. Mo said before, it’s flawed the way video revue is used to make sure a major penalty isn’t called instead of minor after all the whining Vgk did in playoffs last year. They didn’t address this type if situation or if a major penalty is missed. They create more controversy with there vision on video replay, instead of solving issues. Personally would like to see it scrapped, referees make mistakes like everyone, the scrutiny of video replay seems to have lowered the quality of refereeing. Go back to letting them call the games, they are fair not perfect, live with that. Shit happens but has a way of evening out.

  37. Get the chip in the puck.

    For people saying it takes time, much time away from game, game flow. F that if you do it the way I was saying.

    Think it can be a good thing, to help refs, like how # 8 red wings slide his skate acroos Saaders helmet face helmet when he came off bench, after they called offsetting penaltys and waived off a good goal by Hammer. The replay would show its an extra penalty on them for skate to helmet thing, and therefore goal stands.

  38. I agree that the game has passed Pat Foley by.Eddie real dumbs down his analysis when he works with Foley.The personal self serving banter really takes away from the game.When you listen to other teams broadcasts you really notice it.Even in his younger days Foley was never utilized after the Hawks got knocked out of the playoffs. Other announcers were getting nightly work until the Cup finals.

  39. I enjoy the banter of Foley and Edzo, though I do agree it can be distracting at times. I think his play by play style changed when the Hawks stopped simulcasting the broadcast on radio and TV. When his broadcast was going to both radio and TV, he was much more dialed in to the play by play. Once he was doing TV only, he could “Drift” a bit. But I grew up watching Harry Carry and Steve Stone, the banter between those two was out of control, but I there is a lot more dead space in baseball than in hockey so maybe not an apt comparison…

    That said, I still love their broadcast and prefer it to Konroyd or the national broadcasts…

  40. Mo thats my point, you would bring in a bunch of new rules and say it’s fixed. Then be a bunch others need fixed, never ends, more controversy, more delays. Don’t see how replay has improved the game any, an experiment that doesn’t seem to be working. Alot of times it just brings more personal opinion to call rather than get it right, obviously by your complaints you don’t see any either, so why want more. Sometimes less is better.

  41. Besides that stuff about it and its always ongoing.

    The delays and time it takes to do it, if done my way, wouldnt take any extra time for the game bu using the tv timeouts instead for every review done. So theres no delays that are different then tv timeouts.

  42. I do not mind Foley Edzo when were winning 2009-2017. For the last couple yrs waugh sometimes its bad. Were going to start winning again so that might go hand in.

  43. Good luck with that Mo, doesn’t seem to be any desire to change their scheduled timeouts to help with review delays. Alot issues around that for networks that would take priority.

  44. Goalie good. Finally seeing some finish from the Hawks. Sad to say but Toews isn’t much of a factor anymore. Kane on the other hand remains brilliant.

  45. I know what your saying, I mean they still would have tv timeouts and the same amount of them. Just use tv timeouts with sponsers commercials during a review. I guess what I mean is there would be same amount of tv timouts and commercials and the game would take exactly as long as it would if there was no reviews.

  46. I think Mo it would just result in bonus advertising for sponsors. Still have scheduled ones, just go to tv timeout on reviews and sponsors pay for a little more for prearranged extra ad time that comes up. Then if review was quick, still have to wait for tv timeout to end and announce decision after back on air.

  47. Great comments on the broadcast teams. I tried turning down the TV to listen to John and Troy but the delay annoys me as well. The small talk and clowning between Pat and Edzo is way too excessive.

    It’s early but Nylander is playing as advertised when they traded for him. Doesn’t want to get involved. Afraid of contact. Similar to Perlini. Hope this can be corrected or else it’s another bad trade.

  48. Yea, thats what I mean. For that part of reviews it wouldnt have people worried about it slowing down the game. Its just a tv timeout. If it took longer then its a ‘full timeout’ like they call it. I understand how you think about reviews in general, I would say I am the way I am for how I would have them. If they did it like you like I would say at least have reviews for goal line and posts inside white post reviews. Check on that kind of stuff.

  49. I just hope that Dach will not get hurt again…
    Now the team is getting better every game like i was expecting after 20-25 games to get use to each other and for the coach to be ablle to figure out the line and the dmen..
    Their will will a few bump on the road to the playoff but i really think that we aremissing just one big player ..Willson style ..rare to find.

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