Jan 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) blocks a shot by Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter (77) in the second period of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
The All-Star break provided a time-out from all the regular season action, and allowed the players to have some fun for a weekend. Now, all the teams are getting back to work and that means there are numbers to talk about.
On a previous edition of Fun with Numbers, the topic of the number of shots that the Hawks goaltenders face came up. On a consistent basis, that number was over 30 and most times closer to 40. It was way to high and that was pointed out at the time. In the first game back from the All-Star break, Corey Crawford faced only 27 shots from the defending Stanley Cup champion LA Kings. That is a pleasant sign and hopefully a trend in the right direction. Crawford has the ability to be able to win a game for the Hawks by making 40 plus saves, but no goalie in this league should be expected to do that on a constant basis.
This is the second time on this column that Teuvo Teravainen’s ice time has been mentioned, both times for negative reasons. Teravainen was the only Blackhawk to receive under 10 minutes of ice time. For a young and talented rookie, this lack of ice time can be a hinder to growth and progressing. It’s beating an old drum, but not giving him respectable ice time helps nobody. It doesn’t help the Blackhawks, and it certainly does not help him. He shouldn’t be getting Patrick Kane type minutes, but he should be at least in the range of 12-16 minutes a game. That allows him to get into the flow of the game and be able to help his teammates. Even with his limited playing time, Teravainen has made the most of it and has shown that he can hang at the NHL level.
The Blackhawks will play their next five games on the road, before heading home for an eight game homestand. With all five of these matchups being against the Western Conference, and three of them being divisional contests, the Hawks need to get two points as often as they can. Being able to go into the homestand with some confidence and some points in their back pocket will help make the homestand more relaxed for the team.