Hawks open with 3-2 shoot out win over Stars

Corey Crawford, Corey Crawford, Corey Crawford, that is all you need to know about the first two periods of last nights game. For those that complain the Crawford never has any goalie wins well here is the first of the season. For 40 minutes no one will argue he was the best player on the ice for the Hawks.

The ice was definitely tilted to the Hawks zone and as the Stars came out flying. It appeared they did not get the memo that the playoffs were over and the regular season had started or maybe they have something to prove.

The Hawks left Dallas as coach Quenneville said after having committed robbery. There is no way the Hawks should have won that game but then again isn’t that what great teams do. Yes the Hawks are a great team when you can get that outplayed by a very good team and still win and somehow have your opponent think they need to learn lessons yes your a great team.

Kari Lehtonen gave up the first goal and one he probably wishes he had back when he let a Duncan Keith shot go through his pads. After dominating the first period it ended with the Hawks up 1-0.
If the first period was all Dallas the second was even more so and saw them take a 2-1 lead on a pair of goals by Trevor Daley and Cody Eakin but the score could have been much worse if not for spectacular play by Corey Crawford who looked like he was in playoff form.

The third period went to the Hawks due to penalties against the Stars and yes the Hawks converted on a powerplay snipe by the shooter Patrick Sharp to tie the game and force overtime which saw nothing so to the shoot out the game went.

If Crawford was good in regulation he was even better in the shoot out and stoned all three Dallas shooters – Spezza, Seguin & Hemsky. For the Hawks, it only took two shooters – Toews and Kane. If you doubt that Patrick Kane has magic hands take a look at his shoot out where he stickhandled Lehtonen into submission and went high backhand for the winner.

For the Hawks this was not their best but it was important that they came away with two points against and division opponent and were able to close them out which they had problems with last year. What is concerning is for 40 minutes they looked slow and were outplayed.

Face-offs need work but special teams both the power play and the penalty kill looked better than last year. The defense needs to step up especially the young guys. Duncan Keith can not keep up this pace all year so the younger players need to get up to par quick.

The Blackhawks play again Saturday night at home at the United Center against Buffalo Sabres at 7:30pm and can be caught on WGN radio 720 or broadcast on CSN-CH.

Three Stars:
1) Corey Crawford
2) Patrick Sharp
3) Cody Eakin

Follow our Blackhawks team at @TCLBlackhawks; you can follow me at @sportshashh