Corey Crawford was an observer for the Blackhawks’ game in Nashville on Thursday night and his synopsis was accurate.
“Can’t get worse than that,” he said.
On Friday, the Blackhawks had the right response from that debacle, taking a 2-0 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. The Blackhawks have now won three of their last four and remain in third place in the very competitive Central Division.
But we’re not getting into big-picture stuff yet. So for now, let’s just look at the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ second victory this week over the Jets.
1. Patrick Kane makes it 25. The point streak continues for Kane, whose power-play goal extended it to 25 games. His streak ties Sidney Crosby for the longest since the 1992-93 season (Crosby’s came from November-December of 2010). Kane’s comfortable dealing with the extra attention he’s gotten with the streak. “I think going into every game there's going to be some type of attention on you,” he said. “If you worry about that too much, it gets to your head and can only do negative things to you. So just try to focus on getting the puck, making plays, create scoring chances, playing good in your own end when you're there and being confident out there too.”
2. Crawford does his part. Crawford last played Tuesday, when he stopped 36 of 37 shots in a victory over the Nashville Predators. He came back just as strong Friday with a 25-stop performance for his third shutout of the season. Crawford’s playing well again, allowing just two goals in his last three games, all victories. He saved his best for the third period, when the Jets had their best scoring opportunities. “He was great in the third,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “Certainly he was solid, focused the first 40 [minutes] and did some good things. You could tell he was tracking the puck well and in the third he had to make some big stops, kept them off the board. Good for him.”
3. Paying the price. The Blackhawks’ other line of defense before Crawford was blocked shots. They recorded 23 on Friday, making Crawford’s job that much easier. Duncan Keith had a team-high six blocked shots and Trevor van Riemsdyk, who’s been more of a factor in this category, followed with five.
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4. The power play is working. Read that again, folks, your eyes are not deceiving you. The Blackhawks’ power play entered Friday’s game ranked sixth in the NHL and Jonathan Toews and Kane’s goals both came on the power play. It’s something we haven’t seen much these past few years but right now, the power play has been a big part of the Blackhawks’ offense.
5. Teuvo Teravainen no-look game working. On Tuesday it was a no-look goal against the Predators. On Friday his no-look pass to set up Kane’s power-play goal was a thing of beauty. Teravainen’s getting his confidence, and by that we mean his 2015 Stanley Cup Final confidence. That’s a good thing.