Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks: Assessing The Mom’s Trip

By Gail Kauchak
Mar 11, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) and head coach Joel Quenneville watch their team take on the Dallas Stars during the third period at American Airlines Center. The Stars defeat the Blackhawks 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 11, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) and head coach Joel Quenneville watch their team take on the Dallas Stars during the third period at American Airlines Center. The Stars defeat the Blackhawks 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 11, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) faces the Dallas Stars attack during the second period at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 11, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) faces the Dallas Stars attack during the second period at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

2.  Crow is not the Problem!  Corey Crawford doesn’t get the respect that he deserves, so just in case anyone has any doubt, I feel this needs to be said.  Yes, Crawford got pulled in the Dallas game after letting in 4 goals.  But he also stopped 16 other shots.  Crow is the one keeping the Chicago Blackhawks in these games by making great saves.   As mentioned above, his defense hasn’t exactly been stellar in front of him.

And remember, all three goals Crawford allowed in St. Louis were power play goals.   Two of the four he allowed in Dallas (the fifth was an empty netter) were also power play goals.  Which leads me to my final point.

1. Penalty Kill Issues.  Wow, this has always been a strong point for the Hawks.  But as of this post, the Chicago Blackhawks are 25th in the league on the penalty kill.  Ouch!  Marian Hossa and Marcus Kruger, who are both strong members of this unit, have both been out, so that certainly doesn’t help.  And because of that, many other players have had to step in.  As Mark Lazerus explained in his recent article for the Chicago Sun-Times, the players have struggled to know each other’s tendencies.

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But here’s a thought that could solve a problem or two.  Stop taking so many penalties!   Now I know that in the heat of the game things happen, especially when you are playing a more physical team.  But “too many men on the ice”, and “delay of game” are completely avoidable!

The Chicago Blackhawks need to be more disciplined and stick to their style of play, which is to possess the puck.  If they focus on this, they won’t have to worry about killing so many penalties.

The Chicago Blackhawks have a busy week ahead.  They have four games in the next seven days.  Hopefully they can bounce back from these two tough losses and gain some momentum going forward.  Remember, adversity is good!   It will help to build more character, and give the players a thicker skin going into the playoffs.

By the way, did anyone happen to catch the Dallas Stars/St. Louis Blues game last night?  Good golly, both teams looked really good!  And the kicker is that the game went to overtime, giving both clubs a point.  St. Louis won in the end, so they tied Dallas with 91 points.   The Stars still hold first place because they lead in row points.

The Chicago Blackhawks are now in third place, with 88 points.  And the big, bad LA Kings are coming to town tomorrow night!  Expect the Chicago Blackhawks to come out flying and ready to play!

FOR THE CUP!!!

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