Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks Set Franchise Record With 12th Straight Victory

By Mike Brennan
Jan 19, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) celebrates with teammates after defeating the Nashville Predators 4-1 at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 19, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) celebrates with teammates after defeating the Nashville Predators 4-1 at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Chicago Blackhawks went into Nashville having won 11 straight games. They left the music city with 12 straight wins and a new franchise record in win streaks. Artem Anisimov, Richard Panik, Patrick Kane and Andrew Desjardins. The Predators had their lone goal from Ryan Ellis, which is not out of the norm since the forwards for Nashville have not been able to do anything. Anyways, after this win, I have a couple late thoughts.

The Second Line: As always with the ‘Hawks during this win streak, the second line continues to be the best and most dominate line on the ice. They had a combined five points, including two assists from Panarin. The first goal they had on the game was a classic second line goal. They were cycling in the zone, making tape to tape passes and Anisimov finished at the net with a smooth forehand backhand move that put Pekka Rinne on his stomach. Patrick Kane is also the first player in the league to get to 30 goals. This line is playing and looking like no one will be able to stop them. Their biggest enemy might be the all-star break.

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Crawford Continues to Dazzle: Crawford was a huge reason why the ‘Hawks were able to shut down the offensive production of the Predators. All night, Crawford was positioned perfectly in the net to stop any chances that came at him. Crawford faced 39 shots on the night, 13 shots more than Rinne on the other end, and he was able to stop 38 of the shots because Crow was swallowing the puck and not allowing any rebounds. The Preds made his life even easier because all night they did not have anyone in front of the net. He saw the shooting lanes, and the chances that the Preds had were easily ended because he was able to see the puck the whole way in. During the win streak, Crow has let up 16 goals in eight games, with letting up five in one game against the Coyotes. He has been on fire lately, which usually means Crow is due for a bad start, but let’s try and push that off as long as we can.

Win Streak: With this 12th straight win, the ‘Hawks set a new franchise record with 12 straight wins. They beat the record of 11 wins by the 2012-13 Blackhawks team. They also tied this season’s longest win streak of 12, held by the Florida Panthers. They have catapulted to the top of the division by five points, and have pulled to within five points of the league leading Washington Capitals. The leading scorer for the ‘Hawks during the streak has been (you guessed it) Patrick Kane with 19 points on eight goals.

Same old story from the Predators: I realize that the Preds are in a bit of a funk, but if they continue to play like this they will not be a threat to anyone. They had eight more shots, better corsi numbers and more hits than the Hawks in this one. However, when you start to look at the high danger scoring chances numbers, the Preds have much less than the ‘Hawks, because of the style that the Predators were continuing to do in this matchup. They were clearly running their offense through their defensemen, and were not getting the puck in deep with possession. They were settling for long shots with clear shooting lanes, which gave Crawford the chance to easily swallow up the puck and allow no rebounds. So while the the Preds had better offensive numbers, they could not do anything with them.

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Barry Melrose just brought up a great point as well. Two of the goals from the ‘Hawks (Anisimov and Panik goals) were scored within four seconds of the turnover itself. So when the ‘Hawks got the puck in a good area, they wasted no time picking apart the Preds D. Also, the Predators defense stepping up into the zone caused the Kane breakaway on the long stretch pass, and they could not get back because they were too worried about creating offense themselves.

Looking ahead: For the ‘Hawks going forward, the road does not get easier. Thursday they head into Tampa Bay for a Stanley Cup rematch against a team that has won six straight. On Friday, they go into Florida to face the Panthers, then they host the Blues at home on Sunday and then they will go into the all-star break after heading in to Carolina for a tilt with the Hurricanes.

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