Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks: 5 Thoughts From The Florida Trip

By Gail Kauchak
Jan 21, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) passes the puck as Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman (6) defends during the third period at Amalie Arena. Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 21, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) passes the puck as Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman (6) defends during the third period at Amalie Arena. Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
2 of 3
Dec 19, 2015; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Rob Scuderi (47) during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 19, 2015; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Rob Scuderi (47) during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports /

4.  Where is the defense? The ability to suppress shots has been a problem for a while, but it has been very apparent these past two games.   As Niklas Hjalmarsson said after the Thursday’s tilt, it’s very tough for the Hawks to defend against youth and speed, which both Florida teams have in abundance.

The Panthers generated 32 shots on goal, and the Bolts had 33.  In the game before that, the Nashville Predators had 39 shots on goal! And then you factor in Rob Scuderi’s horrible turnover that led to the fourth goal of the game against the Panthers.  Ugh!

There’s been a lot of talk that the Hawks have had a tough stretch in the schedule of late, playing 15 games in the last 27 days.  They’ve pretty much been playing a game every other night, and they’ve had 3 back-to-backs in that span.

I would assume this affects the blue line the most, as they are usually out on the ice longer.  Either way, the Hawks need to tighten up on defense.

3.  We should appreciate Crow.  It was Corey Crawford that single-handedly kept the Chicago Blackhawks in the game on Thursday night against Tampa Bay.  He stopped 31 of 33 shots, for a .939 save percent average.  Discussing Crow’s solid play has become like a broken record, as he has been one of the best players on the ice for quite some time now.  It’s a shame his teammates weren’t able to reward him with another win.

This all becomes even more apparent when Scott Darling fills in and has a bad outing like he did against the Florida Panthers.  And everyone says, “If only Crow would’ve played, maybe it would be a different story.”

So we all should appreciate Crow when he is playing.  I think it’s safe to say the Hawks wouldn’t be at the top of the Central Division standings without him.

facebooktwitterreddit