Blackhawks Edge Red Wings As Rookies Shine

Jimmy Hayes and Marcus Kruger scored Chicago’s two goals as the Blackhawks extended their winning streak to four games, three of which have come against the NHL’s elite.

Hayes once again played a big, physical game with his fifth goal of the season, an assist and three hits in just over 12 minutes of action. Kruger scored the game-winner, his seventh, and also was credited with a blocked shot and three takeaways.

Dylan Olsen played more than 20 minutes for the third time since being recalled and was effective at even strength and in 2:28 in short-handed ice time. He was credited with one blocked shot, two hits and two takeaways in the game.

Beyond the rookies, the players that needed to step up on the absense of Jonathan Toews did so. Patrick Kane played like a superstar, controlling the puck through traffic and forcing the issue offensively. Marian Hossa was strong as well, leading the team with four takeaways. Both Kane and Hossa skated over 21 minutes in the game.

In spite of not being named one of the game’s three stars, the night was all about Corey Crawford. He was magnificent after allowing a power play goal in the first period, stopping 31 of 32 shots in the game and extending his red-hot personal streak.

Crawford has now won his last four starts in a row, including games at the Rangers and at home against the Blues and Red Wings. In those four starts, he has allowed only five goals and has stopped 115 of 120 shots against him (.958 save percentage).

16 thoughts on “Blackhawks Edge Red Wings As Rookies Shine

  • February 22, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Its 12:40am and they’re playing the game again and I’m enjoying it all over one more time. lol

  • February 22, 2012 at 4:36 am

    All around great team effort tonight against a netminder who played an equally great game. I love how the Hawks went into shut down mode after they took the lead very early in the thrid.

    Foley brought up an interesting thing during the broadcast: in a poll among NHL players, Quenneville and Babcock are rated the top 2 coaches players “wish” they played for. So my question is this… for all the Q haters that frequently post on this blog… if the Hawks granted your wish and fired the line-jumbling coach tomorrow, who would you want to replace him (tomorrow)?

  • February 22, 2012 at 6:06 am

    One of the most complete games the Hawks have played all season, well done boys!!

    We got to see a glimpse of what Kane can be. I thought he did well earlier in the season at center & he was dominant last night. I know I’m in the minority but I like him at center, he’s forced to be more responsible at both ends & not just float around. I also like him with the puck in open ice as opposed to getting trapped along the boards. As he showed last night he’s a d-mans worst nightmare when he has the puck in open ice.

    I’m not a fan of Kane’s overall game, however that being said if he continues to improve & play like he did last night he will truly be one of the elite players in the league.

    I think a shudder went through the entire league last night as they witnessed a sleeping giant finally awakening…….

  • February 22, 2012 at 6:18 am

    That was a fantastic game. The first period was mostly unnerving as Detroit played keep away while the ‘hawks watched, but towards the end and for the rest of the game, the ‘hawks were outstanding. Crawford was huge. You could tell he needed that game. One moment comes to mind where after he flopped onto a rebound, he laid there for a while, seeming to want to savor the save. He was the Crawford of last year last night. Kane was likewise fantastic, even throwing a check or two.

    Poor Frolik – I thought we were going to see with his breakaway something like last year’s penalty shot on Schneider, but I don’t know that it even was on net.

    What was interesting to me was that every time we played Detroit, I thought we needed to balance the team and get some bigger forwards and defensemen to push and punish people. Detroit would punish our smaller, skilled forwards when they would get close to the crease, and also edge out our dmen. But it was nice to see our “smaller” guys have success. Detroit did look a little less than what they’ve been, and it’s hard to tell if that’s from their tremendous recent run catching up with them or because we actually outplayed them.

    Seabrook was great too – taking a shot to the chest, pushing people around. I don’t know about that holding call on him. But that slashing call on Morrison was total crap. He still hasn’t done much.

  • February 22, 2012 at 6:47 am

    I caught the 3rd period only but it was entertaining.

    What Ive noticed in Q’s system of defending the lead is the 1-2-2 we play isnt quite effective on stopping the rush in the neutral zone.
    In fact I always get scared when we have a lead late in the game as it seems the better teams blow right by us.
    Last night’s play was a pleasant surprise as a few times the Wing’s were stood up at our blue line with the lead fore checker behind ememy lines for that quick counter attack.
    Very impressed indeed as everyone contributed with the lead.

  • February 22, 2012 at 7:02 am

    Great team effort defensively…
    Forwards did a great job supporting D…

    Can we put Hayes in front of net for the next 7-10 PP’s (1st unit) and see what happens? Can’t get any worse!

  • February 22, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Hayes looked great. Especially against a goaly that’s hard to beat from the point like jimmy howard. Its good to see him in the crease pushing people around.

  • February 22, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Hawks definitely got better as the game went on. Indeed we should put Hayes in front of the net, ALWAYS!! Would like to see Shaw back up and have him in front of the net with Hayes on the PP. As far as who should have a mysterious injury, Frolik, Kruger, Bickell, pick one.

  • February 22, 2012 at 8:43 am

    4 games. Nice. One foot back on bandwagon. It’s only going to hurt me in the end, but, that’s why we are called “fanatics” I guess…

  • February 22, 2012 at 10:44 am

    I was very encouraged by both the Blues game and last night’s win. This last game proved how important it is for the Hawks to have some size in the lineup to keep our most physical opponents (read Blues, Preds and Wings), from simply battering our skill players and dominating the game physically. When you have Hayes, Olson, Scott, Bickel and Mayers all on the bench and seeing ice time, they are clearly noticed and effective simply by being available. This is a HUGE difference for the Hawks and will be a significant variable in the physical playoffs. Yes, I know of Scott’s critics and of Bickel’s shortcomings (fair criticisms on their own), but we need size, toughness and the ability and willingness to defend Toews, Kane, Sharp and Kieth from the head hunters looking to take them out. We also need some push back and fear factor in front of both nets and (with all due respect to Shaw), I’d rather have Hayes and Scott (yes, John Scott), on the bench and on the ice as meaningful deterents in our current situation. Hayes and Olson better be on Jr’s untouchable list, I’ll tell you that…

  • February 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Im not saying that Jimmy Hayes is the 2nd coming of Bobby Hull or anything but the Hawks are better with him in the line up. He never should have been sent back to Rockford. I know that there was a numbers game but Shaw should have been sent. Hayes bring something to the ice that most Hawks cant and thats presence. His size and strength alone give teams problems. Couple that with his skill and skating ability and we have a player that can really become the power forward we need.

    2 things really stand out for me about last nights game. First, Hayes ability down low to own the puck. Detroit really struggled with try to control him when he had the puck. 2ndly, early in the game the was a point shot by Detroit. Scott was on the ice and did something that I havent seen a hawks d-man do in awhile. He cleared the front of the net. The shot came. Crawford made the save and Scott pushed Holmstrom out the crease . Say what you want about Scott but if he is committed to getting better then I say there is a roster spot for him.

  • February 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Hayes looked a little like Buff in front of the net. I completely agree with those who think we shot put him there for a few PPs and see how it goes.

  • February 22, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I personally have always liked Scott even though he is a little bit challenged with regards to skill.It seems to me that he is Qs’ pet project and it seems to be paying dividends.He seems to be a happy go lucky character who is well liked in the dressing room,and aims only to please.He has the back of his fellow players and knows his role.Q seems to know how to utilize him,thus not exposing him on the ice.It’s nice to see him playing better as he deserves it.

  • February 22, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Grich…I couldn’t disagree with you more on Kruger…the kid comes to play and is scrappy as hell for his size. And he brings much more to the game that what shows on the score sheet. He’s developing nicely and its clear he’s highly trusted on PK.

  • February 22, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Someone needs to buy Grinch a television so he can watch a guy like Kruger play apparently

  • February 22, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Kruger is definately a talent. We need to either commit to him or use him as our best young skilled-talent(asset). I’m sure the NHL GM’s see what this kid is possible of.

    If we want to get a #2 center or top 4 d-man, then I’m guessing Kruger will have to be included.

    We may very well be watching this kid develop into a total 2-way player in front of our eyes… growing pains included.

    Is 2012 the year Stanley returns or can we wait until 2013?

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