Blackhawks Handle Business, Lead Series 1-0
Corey Crawford was solid once again and the Hawks overcame a disallowed goal to beat the LA Kings in Game One of the Western Conference Final 3-1.
Brandon Saad redirected a Nick Leddy shot past Jonathan Quick for a power play goal, giving the Hawks a 1-0 lead in the first. Early in the second, it appeared the Hawks had a 2-0 lead on a Jonathan Toews goal, but the tally was disallowed after a review. Less than two minutes later, Tyler Toffoli tied the game for the Kings.
Thankfully, Crawford was on his game and the Hawks were able to bounce back. Saad made a nice play to enter the zone and better pass across the ice to Duncan Keith for the game-winning goal at 11:54 into the second.
Toews would add a goal they couldn’t take away in the third to close the books. Toews converted a 3-on-1 with Marian Hossa and Johnny Oduya for his sixth goal of the postseason.
Hossa had two assists, one blocked shot and a huge hit on Dustin Brown (be the hammer, not the nail) in the game. Toews and Hossa tied for the team high with three shots on net each.
Saad added a team-high three takeaways to his two points.
Brent Seabrook skated a team0-high 24:09 on Sunday, and led the team with five hits and finished tied with Niklas Hjalmarsson with a team-high four blocked shots.
Crawford stopped 25 of 26 to earn another victory.
On the other end of the ice, Quick struggled to control rebounds throughout the game and allowed three goals against only 20 shots.
For LA, Jeff Carter had a game-high six shots on net, but won only one of eight faceoffs. Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams failed to put a shot on net in Game One.
With his two-game suspension over, Brandon Bollig returned to the lineup and was credited with four hits in 9:00 on the afternoon. Peter Regin stayed in the lineup and skated primarily between Saad and Kris Versteeg, but won only two of 12 faceoffs. Toews won 11 of 18 faceoffs to lead the way for the Hawks.
Game Two is at 7:00 pm CT on Wednesday at the United Center.
46 thoughts on “Blackhawks Handle Business, Lead Series 1-0”
Love u.crow ur the best. Hawks fan myhole life (50) go gett em magvy, hull, makita,hall,wilson,larmer,justtonamre a few. Taz go grt em captainv
Saad – the manchild – awesome game, a Hossa in the making.
Shout out to Nick Leddy – saved a goal, skated the puck and made some plays.
Toews – no doubt THE best captain in the league!
Crawford – what more does he have to do to be talked about with the best in the league
Bollig – scares me – hopefully IF Shaw comes back he gets 52s spot.
Nice win, not a ton to complain about, but see below for the complaints. Toews, Hossa and playoff Bickell are the most fun line to watch I’ve ever seen, particularly the selfless play of Bickell in the offensive zone. It’s simple, he just takes his defender out of the play. Their defense is a given. Sure there are negatives, and all the usual whipping boys had mistakes, but I came away from this game with an appreciation for the tenacity of this team, and it looked like every player belonged out on the ice today, even 52 in patches. The home streak has to end sometime, maybe a better rested LA team can do it, good luck with that.
Pretty solid effort throughout the game although thankful that Toffoli somehow hit the post on the breakaway despite having an open net. Crow continues to look very confident which is critical at this point. Nice to see Saad get a bounce off his leg – good to get some puck luck. Still believe this will be a tough grind it out series.
Now only 7 to go…
Focus. That’s the Hawks, they lost it a little after they were ROBBED by the disallowed goal, which wasn’t reviewable, was called a goal on the ice, and WAS A LEGAL GOAL.
This team simply accepted the road bump, and then got back to business. LA had a good push in the 2nd that CC helped to resolve, but the Hawks team defence dominated the 1st and 3rd periods. Short of the LA breakaway early in the 3rd, they literally had NO chances. Great work by the D and Forwards.
Rozy with a huge mistake that gave the Kings their scoring chance in the 2nd, and Bollig lost his man and it was in the net…what do you do as a fan? Complain?
Regin was atrocious at the dot today, BUT he was outstanding everywhere else. Regin has played much of his career on the wing and not at Centre, so when Shaw comes back how does he go out of the lineup? Regin was a force offensively with his speed and his knack for going to the net, and defensively he was in right spot constantly. A great 2 way effort by the Danish forward. I hope that BB gets another shot at starting in this series, and that Regin keeps skating. The Hawks are 3-0 with him in the lineup.
Kruger and Smith were outstanding, but didn’t get enough ice time IMO, as their winger is a bit of a liability. I love the Toews/Hossa/Bickell line. To end the game today, Q alternated Kruger/Smith with Toews/Hossa to close things out…and essentially no scoring chances by LA.
Did any of you catch Toews stance and positioning on his 2nd goal today? You teach it to kids time and again, and yet so few use it. Toews squared his body, lowered his knee and leaned over his stick to keep the puck down and on the net. If he doesn’t do this, the puck likely sails over the goal. Just another phenomenal play by the best player in hockey. Let’s hope Shaw is ready to go Wednesday!!!
Sr. Brad-your right that call isn’t reviewable-the, refs got together (which they can do) and decided it was interference by 19-they just had to check that it didn’t go in before the contact-if it did it would have been a good goal– the replay confirmed–it went in after the initial contact by Toews.
I was frustrated at the time-but all the hockey pucks with no interest either way, at least 5 of them, said it wasn’t a good goal and although the optics were bad they did the right thing.
First, some housecleaning to take care of – Bollig was not responsible for their goal. The Hawks had their obligatory 2nd period bad line change and Bollig jumped off the bench and beelined it straight toward Toffoli who got to the net for the tip in before Bollig got to him. There wasn’t anything Bollig could have done differently. I didn’t notice the forwards coming off the ice but they made a poor decision to change when the puck wasn’t deep in the King’s end.
Now the good news:
Crawford played very well. He kept rebounds to a minimum, played well positionally and made some big saves.
Overall team defense played pretty well. With the exception of a lengthy rough patch in the 2nd period, the quick up and out passing was much improved from what we saw against the Wild. If the Hawks can keep that up the Kings will be hard pressed to get their forechecking game going.
And now the concern – the Kings probably were fatigued and probably will play better. The Hawks will probably have to play better on Wednesday than they did today if they’re going to hold serve on home ice advantage.
Not that the above explanation was bad, but just to clarify a little further, the refs had apparently conferred and decided it was a no goal on the ice, BEFORE they went to video (according to the link in Tab’s post). That was not explained well in the broadcast (because they didn’t know), and the ref’s explanation didn’t help at all. The call was not reviewable, I guess it took the home office that long to determine that. I think it was the right call. Quick had his pad in position, that puck doesn’t trickle in unless he’s pushed out of the way by Toews. Not that I think it should have, but I’m a little surprised he didn’t get a penalty, there wasn’t much contact from the player on Toews, and Toews changed his own trajectory to cut through the crease. It would’ve been a really weak penalty if it was called, they got the call right all around.
Noonan, if they are trying to say that it was no goal due to goalie interference, then that’s beyond insane. Toews made a hockey move, with the puck, across the net OUTSIDE OF THE CREASE…the King DMan pushed Toews with his glove, and Quick stuck up his goalie pads. That’s not goalie INT at all…and for the on ice refs to call a good goal, and then decide that Toews caused the goal to go in by running the LA goalie, is beyond an awful call. That was a goal scoring move by Toews and that’s a good goal.
It doesn’t matter whether the Kings will be more rested Wed or not, so will the Hawks. Only 7 more to go, and the fastest way there is winning 7 in a row.
Ebonyraptor again is right on. The Kings goal was due to a bad line change, a very bad line change and Bollig had no chance to cover 30 feet in a second. If you want to pick on Bollig yet again for the four hundredth time then at least give him credit for a pretty good acting job on the push and fall which resulted in a power play goal for us. Without that little dive display the resultant pp goal would not have existed. The Kings were almost “expected” to lose this game being on a quick turnaround flight half way across the country and fatigued from 2 game seven series. Again Crawford was a huge difference and if anyone is playing 100% its him. Leddy excellent and in full playoff mode. We are getting up to speed. Toews, Hossa and Oduya combining on what I call “the can opener” was pure Blackhawk hockey all the way. We were in tough against St. Louis, real tough against Minnesota. LA is going to be one step higher yet. I’m with Ebony…cautious optimisim.
They pushed Tazer on his ass area which made him push goalie a little. Not enough contact to be a penalty for interference. Hoarseshit… not reviewable.
Were the announcers serious with their gamelong comments. I didn’t think is was possible to slob more then last yr LOS/BOS.
Did anyone else’s eye test give weird results? I thought LA was beating us fairly handily in possession (Corsi says they did), and certainly in SOG, but I never really felt that we might lose. It’s probably because we had stretches of play that far exceeded that of the entire Wild series. Still wasn’t our A-game, but it was such a relief to see them play better, at least for some stretches. That’s encouraging, but I’m curious to see how they do against a more rested Kings side on Wednesday, and an even better-rested side on Saturday. Big tests, and a sarcastic thank-you to the schedulers.
Crow beat Quick hands-down. The glove stop on Williams was sick.
Bickell and Toews are Corsi monsters. Top line was, like, omg totes amazeballs.
I thought it was the right call on Toews’ no-goal, but a strange way to get there. Those calls are really tough to make when a goalie is as aggressive as Quick.
Lots of bad breaks on both sides. Toffoli’s post with a yawning cage, Bollig’s flop which leads to PP goal, and Keith’s nasty deflected shot on one side. At least three blatant missed-calls, and a strange no-goal on the other.
Regin got smoked on draws, but plays an otherwise-effective game. I hope he takes Bollig’s spot on the wing when Shaw comes back. Smith-Kruger-Regin is an enticing fourth line.
Clearly, from a fans perspective this was an entertaining hockey game to watch. When compared with the tedious contests that we had to endure vs the Wild, one could sit back and see some good hockey. Both teams had plenty of scoring chances, and most importantly the Hawks were able to get out and skate.
There will be no surprises with the Kings. They play crash and slash hockey. They have some speed, but not as much as the Hawks. I don’t know how the rest of you view J Quick, but I am really sick about hearing how good this guy plays and how he is the best in the world. Quick in my book is a quality goalie, but does not deserve the non stop accolades he is constantly showered with. It just gets nauseating to hear it every 5 minutes from pundits. Yesterday he had trouble controlling rebounds all game. These were not from shots along the ice which can tough. He gets way out of position trying to cut angles, which leaves him exposed if opposing players are near the net and puck gets loose. Quick out of the paint takes it personal when opposing players make contact and he whacks guys. Good goalie yes. Not a world beater. Very beatable up high IMO. Otherwise, a likeable fellow, but outplayed by CC yesterday.
Refs/linesmen bad yesterday period. Games officiated in that form clearly favor LA. All of the high elbows, face washes, roughing around the net. They interfere constantly which negates the speed of attacking Hawks forwards. Kane beats an LA d man(can’t remember which one) goes 6 feet around and gets bodied off the play. Plays like that have to be called. The goofy disallowed goal, was a coin flip call that could have gone Hawks way but didn’t. The problem was all of the confusion on the ice and in the stands at the UC. It appeared to be a good goal. If it wasn’t then Tazer should have been given a penalty for goalie interference. He didn’t kick it in either. I say it was a BS call, although I appreciate the explanation given. My last bitch with the linesman is they they were allowing LA guys to cheat on faceoffs as sticks were not being kept on the ice for puck drops. I give the Kings credit for doing that, but linesman have to do their job and kick those guys off the dot.
As stated by others Hawks 1st line is very dangerous and a handful to play against. Tazer goal to ice the game was a thing of beauty. Which Kings player tried to take out Bickells knees on that play that would have been a PP for Hawks? Looked like a cheap shot from my angle.
Keith shot that was deflected from low to high and into the top corner looked really cool at the UC. Quick had no chance with that rocket.
Well pointed out Tab the play where Dustin(POS) Brown tries to nail Hossa behind net and Hoss just plants him. I was laughing my ass off. Hossa is one strong guy, as is Saad. Both had big games yesterday. CC has raised his game again.
I’m calling the Hawks office today and bitch about lack of replays at the UC. It is really not acceptable. Basically all we get the UC are goal replays and a few big hits. NO controversial plays are shown. If so maybe once. The dis-allowed Toews goal we never saw. The players don’t know either. Anyone else notice that blaring 120 DB music is now left on past puck drops at faceoffs? Really obnoxious. And no, that’s not entertainment. Use the UC organ instead.. Again, this is just the NHL trying to be like the NBA. WRONG BETTMAN!!
I like our chances against the Kings and think it goes 6.
Lets Go Hawks!!
I am laughing that people are saying Bollig took a dive with the Martinez penalty call. I watched this play right in front of me. Martinez gives Bollig a push upside the head, and then goes back for more. The ref called the second shot. Give Martinez 2 min for being stupid. It was absolutely a dumb ass penalty that personifies how the Kings play. Hawks PP is going to get some work in this series, because sooner or later refs will call a tighter game that will punish the chippy Kings.
What a great game for the Hawks. I too never really thought we were gonna lose.
Kudos to Leddy who fell on his ass taking the puck instead of the man, then racing to backcheck and eliminate a high grade scoring chance. Somehow I think Leddy knew if they scored he would be riding pine.
I hope Regin’s faceoff woes yesterday will not take him out of the lineup. He was effective other than faceoffs.
BTW, Hossa to Brown: The name is Hossa……Marian Hossa
As far as LA goes, they were bound to have a little bit of an emotional letdown after eliminating ANA. With a couple of days to collect their thoughts, Wednesday’s game will be tougher. LA will be at their best Weds.
To Nick in SD-
what I said was exactly right-
“At 3:22 of the second period in the Los Angeles Kings/Chicago Blackhawks game, the referee consulted video review to see if Jonathan Toews’ initial shot entered the Los Angeles net. It was determined Toews’ initial shot did not enter the net. The referee’s original call on the ice was “good goal” but a discussion between the on-ice officials resulted in a “no goal” decision because Toews made incidental contact with Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick before the puck crossed the goal line. This is not a reviewable play therefore the decision on the ice stands – no goal and no penalty.
Incidental contact meant no penalty-
To Sr. Brad-I love the Hawks and Toews but he changed his path to the goalie and was pushed but it was a good call-reverse this and it’s Brown going in on Crawford-they need to protect the goalies
As to the LA goal and Bollig, he came over the boards way too soon and had to hug them so that we didn’t get a penalty, then when Sharp came to the bench, go back and watch it from there…Bollig skated slowly for a few seconds observing the puck instead of skating hard following up the play, when Bolly figured out what was going on he turned on the jets and just missed tying up the king’s scorer. Again, I get that it was a “bad line change” but it was caused by Bollig, and then he loafed instead of skating hard back into the defensive zone. I don’t want to focus on this as the Hawks won and played a great game, but what I saw was accurate.
And Regin wasn’t just decent yesterday, other than the F/O’s, Regin did every little thing right, and what Q will notice when he goes back over the game is how Regin was in the right spot every time defensively. With his smarts and speed, it will be tough to take him out of the lineup…and again, Kruger/Smith were outstanding…if they had a winger who wasn’t a liability, then would get even more minutes benefiting all the other lines.
7 2 3 in 5…
Thanks again for the details Noonan…I just saw Toews play as legal. His motion, with possession of the puck, was across the net, outside of the crease, to score a goal…he didn’t put his head down and try to run the crease. As he was coming across the crease the LA defender used force to push Toews into the crease and Quick used his pads,unintentionally, to trip up Toews.
More than that, what did the players think, especially Toews? The Hawks knew they were robbed because they knew that was a good goal…Toews was knocked into their goalie because of “hockey plays” not an intentional act, which is what must occur if you are going to wave off the goal. But again, no problem, the Hawks regained their focus and shut down the kings in the 3rd…just a great team effort.
7 2 3 in 5
The first period was good, second period not so much and they closed out the third.
Crawford is really good at goalie. Saad had himself a dandy.
Watching the Kings chase Kane around is hilarious. Box and one. Toews went oops all over Kopitar.
Not completely imploding after that goal was disallowed was pretty rad and Hossa leveling that butthead Brown with the Power of Grayskull had to be one of my favorite moments of that game.
Two things from yesterday’s game show me, with certainty, that the Hawks will win, and could even sweep the kings…one, Quick is giving up rebounds even on easy shots…when the Hawks play their tight checking, defensive style game, scoring off of rebounds is all the offence they will need…and two, the kings gave away the neutral zone to the Hawks, allowing us NOT to have to play the “dump and chase” game as Wall knows we don’t execute very well. Allowing us to consistently enter their zone with the puck uncontested will back fire on the kings.
BTW, I watched the game at a friend’s house, so had to listen to the NBC feed and not the Euro feed that I normally get. What is the deal with Darren Pang? I had no idea he was such a Hawk hater. I was shocked by how biased his “call” of the game was on National TV. Pang played for us…is he angry that the Rocky didn’t bring him back into the fold and he has missed out on all of this??? I know he’s the Blues colour guy, but that was really noticeable. Any thoughts on Pang?
Yes Brad a good point. If opposing teams give Hawks neutral zone with speed they are asking for trouble.
I watch with the sound turned OFF
Very very solid first period, the extra Coach Q practice of exiting the ZONE worked but then broke down in the 2nd and 3rd. The extra days rest in between these games will benefit Hawks. Quick was loose with the puck all game, Hawks played a lock down 3rd period defensively. Kings don’t have the depth ( to me) to beat or dominate the Hawks, They are a very good team but will make defensive mistakes and can not maintain pressure like the BLUES, BOSTON or even the WILD to get that lucky goal or two that often is the game. Crow was again solid . . . some empty nets missed by kings but over all very competitive. Many Stanley cup winners with out a vez-a-na Goalie in NHL history. Go hawks . . . Leddy come on . . . dont disappoint me. Regin played very well!
Hawks have the worse line changes in the NHL and get those too many men on the ice calls like “off sides” not sure why? But that is the only complaint today!
Travis- agreed… the Eye test was interesting… Hawks have looked less than stellar… are Losing the “Corsi” battle… yet they continue to win!!!
My biggest concern is- the D-men really seem to making effort to stand up before the Hawk’s blue line- which has led to a couple of Odd-man rushes, a goal, and Toffoli break away (off the post)… Hawks got a little luck w some bounces… need to be better. Hawks looked like the last 3rd of season- when they allowed way too many odd mans.
Richards figured out if he actually holds the puck a little longer… the Hawk’s D-men will bite up… and the Kings can get behind them… To me the key is the Hawks Forwards forcing the Kings to get rid of puck sooner- so they aren’t allowed to get behind Pressing D men.
Talk is Price won’t play tonight for Habs. Montreal better bring their A game, or they are in deep $^*#!! Must have game for Montreal tonight IMO.
Lets Go Hawks!
Montreal has officially shut Price down for the remainder of the Eastern Conference Final.
Re: Phil…Though a life long Blackhawks fan and former old Stadium regular, I live on west coast now and can tell you that people I talk to at the Honda Center and the Staples Center absolutely hate the too-loud music at every stoppage of play and yes it absolutely does seem to go on longer these days after the puck is dropped again. One of the best hockey writers out there, Sean McIndoe (http://www.downgoesbrown.com) has also railed against this often. And yes this is stupid Bettman’s handiwork.
Re: Sr. Brad….Unless I misunderstood, you had Darren Pang on an NBC telecast?? My NBC coverage out here was Kenny Albert play-by-play, someone named Joe Micheletti color comm, and Engbloom between the glass. Albert (Marv albert’s son) wasn’t too bad at all, the other guy…whatever, and Engbloom I actually like. I did catch Pang on a local Blues broadcast thru my NHL subscription earlier in the year and that’s how I discovered he’s with the St. Louis broadcast team. Surprised he came out like a Blackhawks hater. maybe he does feel spurned.
We’ll see more from L.A. soon enough, hawks in 6 maybe 7 but it’s not going to be a cake walk. I haven’t been happier since both NYR and MTL upset NBC’s and ESPN’s two favorite teams!! Though both those teams deserve credit, neither of them would have gotten out of the west. Blackhawks heavy favorite for 3rd Cup in 5 yrs
Would not be surprised if Habs put in that Tokarsky kid. He has won a Memorial Cup, a Calder Cup, and a Gold Medal at the World Juniors posting a 1.67 GAA and 9.37 save pct. Too big a drop off going with Budaj, not good numbers in the NHL /playoffs. Kid is unproven at this level but just the kind of thing Montreal pulls out of their hat from time to time, plus its a scenario we have all seen before. However, failing a miracle from this kid, it is highly likely that ( should we eliminate LA ) we will be playing the Rangers for the Cup. They played us very well in the regular season and the super star vs super star match ups would be incredible. Now that would be a really good series.
Tokarski is reportedly starting Game 2 for the Habs.
Thanks RedTopParking for your input about the noise pollution “entertainment”at NHL rinks around N. America, and hockey opinions. Joe Micheletti comments I like on tv BTW. What can I say about Panger, he’s a Blues guy now. What would be a cool option on sportscasts is to just have a live feed from whatever venue a sport is being played. Let the fans fill in the blanks just like being at a live game. I would actually pay extra for that option! One can dream….
Lets Go Hawks!
Anyone else kind of growing tired of watching Kane create a zone entry on his own, pulling up while getting swarmed by 3 defenders, and then having no where to go with the puck because his center is still in the defensive zone? I’m sure Kane is.
The pass by Saad on the Keith goal was just absolutely ridiculous. Absolutely. Kid had himself a hell of a game.
I thought the lack of an explanation on the disallowed goal was pretty trash… I thought the officials were pretty trash all the way around. There was a whole lot of clutching and grabbing and sticks between legs and more interference than my cell phone gets while driving through a tunnel. After that the Kings seemed to get a second wind and really took it to the Hawks. Good on Crawford for being Crawford and keeping them in the game. I wonder how many times he’ll have to beat Quick head to head while putting up better numbers before they are mentioned in the same grouping.
I would have liked a better second period from the Hawks yesterday, but I’ll allow it because of the non-goal call. But damn did they play well in the third and it was great watching them turn the puck around when Muzzin tried to press. They need to play like that more often when they are protecting a lead.
I thought Leddy, minus the blowout and the Pearson sneak behind, had a fantastic game. He was dragging the corpse of Rozsival around with him all game and still did a pretty good job of moving the puck. He had a few really good keep ins on the power play goal.
Wall- I said this in another thread assuming you wouldn’t see it. 3 of the top 5 CF teams are in the conference finals. Pretty damn impressive.
Red Top, either NBC or MSNBC…one of the two I think…I was surprised by his call, being a former Blackhawk and all.
Sr Brad – I believe “Panger” does color commentary for TSN in addition to his Blues duties. Perhaps you were watching a Canadian broadcast of the game?
Phil – I have also longed for a live stadium feed absent the announcers. The few worth listening are too far outnumbered.
All – why all the down time between the first three games? Is the Staples Center booked Thursday and Friday of this week?
Sr. Brad, as much as I disagree with the rule (69.1 page 92 of the NHL rulebook), it clearly states on paragraph 3 that it is within the rules to disallow a goal when an attacking player interferes with the goaltender while he is attempting to make a save in his crease.
Maybe I am wrong, too……..I don’t disagree with the rule, I disagree with the way the referee’s went about their decision and explanation about why they disallowed the goal. I really liked the way they huddled together and talked about the play and then went to Toronto. I guess that as long as they interpreted the rule correctly and enforced it correctly, I am good with it.
Being a retired ref, I am used to the “old school” decision making which was, right or wrong, you lived by the decision of the ref who made the call, whether you liked it or not. Once he made the call, he stood by the call even if he was 100% wrong.
Overall, I thought the ref’s and linesmen were “adequate”, at best. They missed 3 tripping calls, 2 holds and 2 interference calls. The sad thing is that when a guy like me watches an NHL playoff game and counts all the things that the ref’s do wrong, it gives an entire new meaning to the word, “goofball”.
OFF TOPIC, but, Does anyone else detect that Quenneville doesn’t really like Nick Leddy very much?
DD I certainly got the impression Q didn’t think much of Leddy when he sat him that 1st game in Minny. Hear Leddy had a ton of family and friends coming to that game, we will see how this plays out in the offseason.
Heard San Jose might be interested in Ryan Miller – at this rate he will be playing in Hawaii by the allstar break next year, haha- great move St. Louis.
Thanks for that Reg, great detail…I just don’t like having a goal resulting from a hockey move disallowed…I have rewatched that play many times, and that’s a good goal IMO.
DD no doubt that Leddy is not Qs favorite player….look at my comment above.
JS, yes I am tired of seeing Kane enter the zone with Sharp right behind with 26 no where to be found. I am not here bashing Handzus. Q obviously has 26 babysitting 10 and 88 so they don’t get themselves in trouble in the defensive zone. What other explanation is there? Ya know, if we are winning it is OK. Maybe frustrating for 2 world class scorers but OK non the less. If we are losing Q has mixed it up and put 28, 12 or 16 in that spot.
JS- The CF/my point… Hawks have been “Out-Corsied” in the PO’s and are still winning!!! ( I know you will point to smaller sample size… blah-blah)… But I will come back with… if they continue to be Out-Corsied… then the Results (losses) will eventually regress to the mean (which means- they should lose a series- sooner or later)
JS- better than Saad’s pass to Keith- was his pass to himself off the boards- that allowed him angle and time to make that pass…
Lastly. Crow isn’t beating Quick… Hawks are beating Quick
JS, Crawford is making a name for himself as a top/elite goaltender right now. In the past, the Hawks success has been a mixture of CC playing well and the Hawks absolutely smothering team Defence (see last game’s 3rd period) that has got the job done. And with CC’s penchant in the past for allowing soft goals, it has created a pretty strong impression that CC is/was a good goalie at best. But with some of our injuries, Q’s lineups, and an overall reduced team performance in these playoffs, Crawford is standing out as the Hawks best player right now. When we win the Cup this season, it will cement Crawford’s spot in the NHL as a top goalie.
When you look back on Crawford’s career, his playoff meltdown versus PHO in 2012 really stands out has his only “bad” performance. He’s had some rough reg. season games, but what NHL goalie hasn’t, plus he’s always rebounded. Take away that anomaly against PHO and Crawford has been a great playoff goalie. He was absolutely awesome versus the canucks in 2011, of course last year, and now this year.
That 2012 season for Crawford was bad all around. The guy has been incredible the last two years and that really can’t be stressed enough. The Hawks aren’t still playing without him in net. Yes, he’ll still let in the occasional bad goal, but I don’t think a goalie exists that doesn’t.
Wall- Saad shows such flashes of brilliance it’s crazy. Thankfully he didn’t put everything together this year and they should be able to sign him to a pretty managable cap hit with a bridge contract.
As far as the Hawks being Out-Corsied… The Hawks have also held the lead more than any other team this post season, by a significant amount. I’m sure that helps contribute to it. Q has gone into a complete shell whenever they get the 1 goal lead. I don’t think it’s the best strategy, since I think the Hawks are best when they are really pressing the opposition, but maybe he just wants to limit the odd man chances against?
Whelp Crawford is the best goalie in the playoffs, not dissimilar to Varlamov during the regular season, and that helps. The guy is playing out of his mind and if they make the finals he should probably get the Conn Smythe.
Plus the sheer skill gap between STL and especially Minnesota. Give guys like Toews and Kane (not to underplay Hossa and Sharp) a little space and they can close out a game. A nudge here and there from Saad and Bickell helps too.
Put Oshie, Steen or Backes in that position and you don’t get the same result. Same thing with Minnesota. Whose going to bury them? Koivu? or some Finish guy whose had his brain rattled so many times he probably doesn’t know where he is playing half the time? Maybe Parise but shutting down one guy shouldn’t bee that difficult with the Hawks depth.
That is a massive gap to close. LA is really the only team that can compete in terms of top talent and complimentary pieces. SJS on paper should be able to but playoffs and oops for them. Boston, kind of and Pittsburgh has some top end but little to compliment it and an atrocious D and they’re both gonzo.
Doesn’t even take into account the 1A and 1B D pairings that can get rolled out and a third that would be most teams second.
As long as they don’t do any huge brain farting or get disinterested they are in a really advantageous position.