With 3:12 left in the third period last night in Minnesota, Cal Clutterbuck scored the first goal of the game for the Wild, and ended Corey Crawford’s attempt at the first Chicago Blackhawks shutout of the season in Game #81. Tomorrow afternoon in Joe Louis Arena, the Blackhawks will be trying to defeat the Detroit Red Wings and also try to become the last NHL team to pitch a shutout this season!
The last shutout registered by the Blackhawks was March 23, 2011 at the United Center by Corey Crawford against the Florida Panthers. Crawford stopped 23 shots on that night, while not letting any past him. It’s hard to believe that an entire calendar year has passed since the last goose egg, but not really with their defensive lapses this season, and very inconsistent play by both Crawford and Ray Emery.
If the Hawks do not get a shutout tomorrow in Detroit it will mark the first season that a Blackhawk goaltender has not registered a shutout since 1988-1989. The #1 goalie that season was none other than Darren Pang. Pang also didn’t record a shutout the prior season either. In the Blackhawks long history dating back to 1926 there have only been 5 seasons with no shutouts being recorded, and Darren Pang was the #1 goalie for two of those seasons. Tony Esposito was the #1 goalie in another season without a shutout in 1980. The Hawks also didn’t record a shutout in 1954 and 1948.
The Blackhawks have had a great lineage of goaltenders. Tony Esposito, Glenn Hall, and Ed Belfour to name the three greatest, even though as a kid listening to the games on the radio I can still hear Pat Foley yelling BIG SAVE BY BANNERMAN. Esposito is the Hawks all time leader in shut outs with 76 including an amazing 15 his rookie season. Glenn Hall is 2nd all time with 51. Current goalie Crawford has recorded 5 shutouts in his Blackhawks career.
Playoff seeding will be on the line tomorrow in Detroit which will be the bigger picture, but if Crawford doesn’t stop every shot on goal, a 23 year consecutive season streak with at least one shutout will fall as well as the Blackhawks ending the season as the only team without a shutout!! Crawford can do it right!?!
Let’s Go Hawks!!!