With back-to-back shut outs for Corey Crawford and Kane’s streak continuing, the Blackhawks had a successful weekend. After a 2-0 shut out Friday against the Winnipeg Jets and a 4-0 shut out against the Vancouver Canucks Sunday, the Blackhawks moved up to second place in the Central Division. While the Blackhawks need to continue with their stellar performance to remain at the top and possible move past the Dallas Stars, they’ve had quite the recipe for success between Crawford’s elite goaltending, Kane’s consistency and the performance of rookies.
Back-to-Back Shut Outs for Crawford
Crawford had 30 saves in Sunday’s shut out win against the Canucks and helped kill all three Vancouver power plays on the night—and a lot of those saves were outstanding! Without Corey Crawford in net, I’m not sure if the outcome of the night would have been the same. This week Crawford posted a 4-0-0 record with a .984 save percentage, which leaves me waiting for those Crow haters to come out, but I only hear the chirping of crickets.
Over the past week, there may be no Blackhawk hotter than Corey Crawford. In his last four games in net, Crawford has only allowed two goals and has stopped a total of 121 of the last 123 shots. About his success, Crawford said, “I was able to really get focused these last few games. I kind of had that in the beginning of the year then I got a little complacent. There weren’t full 60-minute games before. I’m just trying to pay attention, be focused all game.” Well, it’s working for him lately and we see the focus with these back-to-back shut outs. Keep it up Crawford.
When asked about Crow’s performance, Coach Q said, “His quickness and anticipation, focus, following the puck…he’s been tracking it real nice.” And, with goaltenders it is important to keep a short memory after a bad performance, but after a string of good ones it is even more important to keep those memories alive every night. We believe in you Crawford.
Kane’s Streak Hits 26 Games
In Sunday’s game against the Canucks, Kane didn’t wait until the last minute to get a point—he got that out of the way early in the first period with an assist on the first goal of the night. In the first period, Kane got the second assist on Duncan Keith’s power play goal. While it wasn’t a memorable point it still counts and the streak continues. With points in 26 games, it looks like Patrick Kane passes Sidney Crosby as the face of the league and rightly so.
On Friday Kane tied Crosby with 25 games, but he now holds the longest streak after Sunday with 26 games. With Kane’s point streak continuing, he is on pace for 123 points this season. You can argue all you want about the league’s most well-rounded or best overall player, but Kane has it locked down this year with his offensive flash that catches everyone’s attention and has everyone talking—it’s the perfect combination of speed, stick-handling and knowledge of the game. Do you think Kane can keep the streak going and pass up Gretzky? I think so. Only 26 more to go!
The Rookies Shine
In front of Crawford, the Hawks were able to add three insurance goals in the third period to blow the Canucks out of the water. Duncan Keith got the first goal of the night (And the game winning goal at that) and Shaw with the second goal of the night, but in the third period we saw the rookies shine. Dennis Rasmussen continues to impress us with each game he plays. In Sunday’s game he scored his second goal after being recalled and followed that up with an assist on a goal from Brandon Mashinter! With 10 seconds left in regulation, Mashinter got his first NHL goal.
The Chicago Blackhawks dominated every area of the game except the hits category on Sunday, but that doesn’t matter when you shut out the Canucks 4-0. Colorado visits the United Center on Tuesday night and the Blackhawks look to keep their winning streak in tact at home.