RECAP: Blackhawks Blank The Blues 1-0

  

The Blackhawks entered tonight riding an eight-game losing streak, after coming home with a point in Carolina. St. Louis had won four of their last six games but lost to the Wild on Sunday. Corey Crawford was inserted back into the lineup after having the night off and carried his own personal five-game losing streak.

Jeremy Colliton wasted no time getting a healthy Gustav Forsling into the lineup. The 22-year old defenseman forced Brandon Davidson and Jan Rutta into the press box for the evening.

This was your Blackhawks starting lineup:
Nick SchmaltzJonathan ToewsPatrick Kane
Alex DeBrincatDavid KampfDominik Kahun
Brandon SaadArtem AnisimovJohn Hayden
Chris KunitzLuke JohnsonAndreas Martinsen
Duncan KeithBrent Seabrook
Erik GustafssonHenri Jokiharju
Brandon Manning-Gustav Forsling

The action early on was uneventful on both ends of the ice. At the first television timeout, the Hawks were outshooting the Blues 3-2. A slow start, in hindsight, was a great thing for Chicago as they looked more committed to the defensive end.

With just over eight minutes in the period, Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko, on a 2-on-1 with winger Jordan Schmaltz, was stopped by Crawford. Crawford made a nice read as Schmaltz was forced to his backhand before shoveling a pass over to Tarasenko, who found himself in too deep, and could not tuck the puck in short side.

Following some end-to-end action, the Hawks generated an excellent opportunity after Brandon Saad made a nice play along the wall. John Hayden was the recipient of the Saad touch pass and threw an innocent looking shot on net at goaltender Jake Allen. A soft rebound found Artem Anisimov’s stick but the center could not bury home the rebound.

The period ended with the Blackhawks leading their opponents 10-8 in shots.

St. Louis came out gunning early in the second period. Center Ryan O’Reilly missed a great opportunity when his shot attempt went wide of the net. Crawford appeared to be in desperation mode but the Blues could not find the back of the net.

Less than a minute later, forward Tyler Bozak generated another quality chance for the Blues but was stoned by Crawford.

The Blues third early chance of the period, generated when Crawford misplayed a puck behind the net, also resulted in a nice save. Forward Robert Thomas found the puck on his stick, as Crawford scurried back into his net, but could not slip one past.

Three and a half minutes into the period, Tarasenko took a hooking penalty on Nick Schmaltz. The Hawks went on the power play for the first time tonight.

On the man advantage, Patrick Kane made a nice play along the boards, shaking loose from defenseman Ivan Barbashev, and found Jonathan Toews goal line extended with the pass. Toews took the puck hard to the net, only to find Brent Seabrook coming backdoor with a nice pass. Seabrook’s shot, initially stopped by Allen, ricochet off Jay Bouwmeester’s skate and into the Hawk’s net.

Seabrook’s goal, assisted by Toews and Kane, was his third of the season and a much needed power play goal. Hawks lead 1-0.

Midway through the middle frame, John Hayden put the Blues on the power play, after hooking Robby Fabbri. With not much action happening, it seemed the last thing the Hawks needed was to be shorthanded after taking the lead.

The penalty kill did an excellent job keeping the Blues from sustaining any pressure on Crawford, allowing only one shot on goal. Successfully killing off the penalty, after taking the lead, was a huge boost.

After a Blues turnover, with less than two minutes in the period, Toews found Kane streaking toward the net with a pass, only to have Kane hit the post with his shot. This would not be the last time the Hawks would draw iron.

After two periods, the Blues led in shots 18-15.

Committing to defense continued to be the Blackhawks’ theme. This was never more evident than in the third period. The Hawks would only generate four shots on goal in the last frame, however, went into their best lockdown mode of the season on defense.

The opponents generated some shots early but nothing too difficult for Crawford. With 7:49 left in the game, the Blues had only generated seven shots on goal for the period, none considered a high percentage chance.

The Hawks best offensive chance happened when Henri Jokiharju almost gave his team an insurance marker, with just under three minutes left to play. Schmaltz raced down the left wing and found Jokiharju trailing the play with a nice drop pass. The defenseman ringed a shot off the post, keeping the advantage 1-0.

Blues Coach Mike Yeo pulled the goaltender with 1:20 on the clock, but did not generate much action, until David Perron found himself on the doorstep with :18 to play, only to be denied by a sliding Crawford.

As the horn sounded, Crawford celebrated his 24th shutout of his career, all the while, Jeremy Colliton quietly shook his assistants hands and walked off with his first NHL coaching victory.

The GOOD:

Corey Crawford bounced back after five straight losses in the crease. The veteran faced only 28 shots tonight but looked to be in great position all night. His confidence level looked great.

A power play goal. The Hawks may have received a little help from Bouwmeester but a power play goal is a power play goal.

Jeremy Colliton’s first NHL win. The 33-year old has been thrust into a difficult spot for any coach, let alone a rookie younger than some veterans.

THE BAD

Outshot 28-19. May be nitpicking here – especially after applauding the defensive effort – but the Hawks had been generating over 33 shots a game.

Center Ice Forums RECAP: Blackhawks Blank The Blues 1-0

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  • #10128
    Ray Napientek
    Keymaster

    The Blackhawks entered tonight riding an eight-game losing streak, after coming home with a point in Carolina. St. Louis had won four of their last si
    [To continue reading full article, click here: RECAP: Blackhawks Blank The Blues 1-0]

    #10138
    Under Qs moustache
    Participant

    3 points out of their last 4. It’s a start. Let’s see where this goes. It’s nice to see them grabbing a point or two after 2 weeks of watching the other side smile with a victory. It’s not that all the play was bad during the losing streak, it just wasn’t good enough on any given evening. The Penguins are in last place too as of last night’s standings, but they are only 2 or 3 points out so its meaningless but fun to see.

    #10142
    Chico Maki
    Participant

    It might be better if this team totally tanks.  Picking up a point here…..2 points there…isn’t gonna help this team in the long run.  They might be better off tanking for a top 3 pick.

     

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