Chicago Blackhawks Beat Anaheim Ducks 3-1: Five Thoughts
By Samuel Boland
No. 2: Corey Crawford’s health, though important, continues to seem as if it’s nothing to worry about.
Head injuries are some of the worst injuries to deal with as they can be relatively unpredictable. Within the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, Sidney Crosby missed a total of 68 games. During those, he briefly returned to play eight games before going on to miss an additional 40.
Crosby didn’t just return, but he played well in his return scoring two goals and adding two assists in just a single game versus the New York Islands.
He came back, looked good, but the head injury came back as well and sidelined him for another prolonged period of time.
Obviously right now, Corey Crawford looks pretty darn good. Almost as quickly as Crawford bailed out the ‘Hawks poor defense for the first time in his return, the conversation surrounding the Chicago Blackhawks quickly shifted away from his health and to other pressing issues surrounding the team.
While Crawford’s performances are nothing but positives at this point, the Chicago Blackhawks and fans alike need to be careful to not let it overshadow any lingering (or returning) problems Corey might have.
All that being said, I’d like to immediately contradict myself by saying that Crawford only continues to give us nothing to worry about. Corey looks sharp and his mobility has been great. He made multiple big saves through traffic against the Ducks and soaked up a couple of key shots as opposed to giving up rebounds.
Crawford stopped 24 of 25 shots, posting a .960 SV%. He improves to 2-1-0 on the year. His health is far and away the most important thing surrounding this team right now, but he continues to make it look like nothing to worry about.
No. 3: The Chicago Blackhawks needed to bounce back and they did.
After giving up an NHL record high 33 shots in one period and being dominated in almost every sense of the word against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Chicago Blackhawks needed to bounce back.
Fortunately, they did just that. Chicago came out hot in the first period and dominated largely throughout. They forced the Ducks to take four penalties during the first alone. Additionally, Anaheim didn’t get their first even strength shot on goal until the 9:43 mark of the first period.
The shot came all the way from the neutral zone.
The first half of that period largely set the tone for the remainder of the game. The Chicago Blackhawks needed to come out strong in front of their home crowd, especially after being dominated in front of them only two nights before.
Chicago once again showed the potential that this team has, but transitioning how they played in the first period into a full sixty minute game is another story.