Observations From Section 321 : Stuck In Our Craw

Corey Crawford's great performance sparks the Hawks 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames.

The Hawks showed their fan appreciation by going through motions and beating the pile of hot garbage that are the Calgary Flames. When I was going over the Flames lineup, I felt like the construction worker from Major League; "Who are these f*&^ing guys?" The night felt more like a preseason game than the final regular season home tilt. All I wanted from Friday night's game was to come out in one piece, and that was accomplished. Time to head down to St Louis and see if our AHL team can put one on the Blues.

Patrick Kane got the scoring started at 9:34 of the 1st period. The Flames decided to kick the puck all over their zone and it ended up on Patrick Sharp's stick all alone on Joey MacDonald's right side. Sharp missed the wide open net, because that's sorta what he does this year, but got the puck over to Kane who didn't miss his chance. Duncan Keith picked up his 24th assist on the play, which is twice as many as any other defenseman on the team. And since Jonathan Toews will not allow Kaner to lead the team in goals, you knew it was only a matter of time before he scored as well. It only took 3 and half minutes for Toews to tie Kane for the team lead in goals, with 23. After Corey Crawford made a nice save on a Lee Stempniak shot, the Hawks started the rush down the ice. Brandon Saad fired off a wrist shot that MacDonald stopped, but he couldn't cover up the puck behind him. Toews was allowed to cruise right in and tap the loose puck into the open net.

The Flames notched their only tally of the night while they were on a penalty kill midway through the 2nd period. Chris Butler fired a one timer from just inside the blue line that go up and over Crow's right shoulder. Not a spot of the ice you want to give up goals from but Crawford was being screened by both Keith and Ben Street. Marcus Kruger gave the Hawks an insurance goal at 7:06 of the 3rd period, his 4th of the year. Kruger pounced on a loose puck, at the right hand faceoff dot, and snapped a quick wrister past MacDonald. The goal was Frogger's first in 32 games, so it was well earned.

* Corey Crawford had another good game last night. His last three outings versus Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary have been solid. Crow had to make some big saves in the 2nd and 3rd periods. His counterpart, Joey MacDonald did a very good job in keeping the score much closer than it should have been.

* I can live with the power play not scoring, but let's not start giving up shorties. Besides the Butler goal, the Flames nearly scored a second short handed goal in the 3rd period but Crawford made the save. I am just going to chalk it up to lack of focus in a meaningless game, and pray to the heavens that it is not going to be a problem going forward.

* Sounds like Q is in love with Michal Handzus on the 2nd line. Not sure he can keep up with the Patricks but they looked much better last night than they have at any point of the season with the corpse of Dave Bolland. This could be just what we need to force Q to put Bolland back on the 3rd line where he belongs, so it's a win-win situation.

* Since there wasn't much on the ice to talk about let's talk about shoot the puck. Do the Hawks really need to turn this into the 7th inning stretch at a Cubs game? Do we really need to see every 2nd string Bears player, college coach and B list local celebrity? Stick to the formula that works, cute kid, regular Joe and the hot girl. If a big time celebrity happens to be in town then you can bring them in. And no one the last names of Belushi, Vaughn or Cusack falls under the category of big time celebrity. Some of the biggest roars I remember from the old Stadium is when John Candy and Ric Flair showed up for shoot the puck. Signs your team's season is going really good; you have time to bitch about shoot the puck!

* Tonight's game will be interesting to watch just for the fact that we will see the kids from Rockford get their moments with the big club. Q is doing the right thing by leaving Patrick Sharp, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Duncan Keith in Chicago. We don't need a flying knee from David Backes taking out one of our stars right before the playoffs start.

Blackhawks Corsi Numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Duncan Keith D 18:14 20 15 +5 +3 +4
Brent Seabrook D 19:09 29 7 +22 -2 +23
Nick Leddy D 20:25 29 8 +21 -3 +22
Patrick Sharp R 13:53 15 7 +8 +1 +8
Marcus Kruger C 13:31 20 7 +13 -2 +14
Sheldon Brookbank D 17:17 17 15 +2 +2 +1
Jonathan Toews C 13:37 14 10 +4 +2 +3
Brandon Saad L 14:34 15 11 +4 +2 +3
Viktor Stalberg L 12:43 18 9 +9 +2 +8
Michal Handzus C 13:33 15 8 +7 0 +7
Johnny Oduya D 17:21 21 13 +8 +2 +7
Bryan Bickell L 14:28 19 11 +8 0 +8
Michal Rozsival D 19:34 24 14 +10 +2 +9
Brandon Bollig L 12:10 19 6 +13 -1 +13
Andrew Shaw C 15:48 21 11 +10 +1 +10
Michael Frolik R 13:26 22 8 +14 -1 +14
Marian Hossa R 12:52 12 10 +2 +2 +1
Patrick Kane R 17:25 20 10 +10 0 +10

Flames Corsi Numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Mark Giordano D 20:49 12 23 -11 -5 -9
Cory Sarich D 20:03 16 24 -8 -5 -6
Tj Brodie D 15:45 13 18 -5 +3 -6
Roman Cervenka C 1:34 3 0 +3 0 +3
Mikael Backlund C 13:51 18 12 +6 -1 +6
Mike Cammalleri L 15:43 12 22 -10 -3 -9
Brian Mcgrattan R 15:28 2 25 -23 -1 -23
Matt Stajan C 11:54 4 10 -6 +1 -6
Blair Jones C 18:22 12 35 -23 +1 -23
Lee Stempniak R 18:42 16 23 -7 +1 -7
Dennis Wideman D 20:08 12 28 -16 0 -16
Akim Aliu R 16:26 9 19 -10 -1 -10
Ben Street C 14:38 8 18 -10 -3 -9
Mark Cundari D 15:45 8 18 -10 +3 -11
Chris Butler D 19:36 11 29 -18 0 -18
Carter Bancks C 15:36 9 17 -8 +3 -9
Roman Horak L 12:34 13 9 +4 -1 +4
Ben Hanowski L 13:49 3 22 -19 -2 -18