Blackhawks

Corey Crawford has off night as Blackhawks get shut out by Oilers

Corey Crawford has off night as Blackhawks get shut out by Oilers

EDMONTON, Alberta – For the second consecutive game the Blackhawks entered the third period trailing a Canadian opponent 3-0.

The similarities end there.

Connor McDavid had two assists and Cam Talbot stopped all 31 shots he faced as the Edmonton Oilers beat the Blackhawks 5-0 on Monday night. The Blackhawks dropped to 2-2-0 on this Circus Trip, but both of those losses were shutouts.

Corey Crawford, who’s been stellar all season, had a decidedly off night in allowing five goals on 27 shots.

“I never really got into that one. It was a weird game,” Crawford said. “Obviously not great, but I’m not too worried about that.”

Crawford having an off night has been a rarity lately. The Blackhawks getting off to lousy starts hasn’t been, and it happened again on Monday. The shots they got against Talbot were good at times, not challenging enough at others. Credit the Oilers for part of that – they blocked 21 shots. But the Blackhawks didn’t force the issue.

“Speak for myself here, we might be nitpicking a little bit when we’re shooting the puck, trying to pick the perfect spot instead of just banging it in the net,” Patrick Kane said. “I mean, [Talbot] made some good saves. We had some good looks, would have been nice to get one there, especially in the second, make it a 2-1 hockey game and then feeling a little bit better about yourself going into the third instead of down 3-0.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

When the Blackhawks faced a 3-0 deficit after two periods in Vancouver on Saturday night, they said they were positive during that final intermission. They may have been the same on Monday night, but they didn’t get the same results in the third. Talbot wouldn’t allow it. Neither would the Oilers, who kept pressing through those final 20 minutes. Leon Draisaitl scored twice. Anton Slepyshev added one 7:17 into the third period.

The Blackhawks have gotten off to a good enough start to where, if they have a bad game or two, it won’t hurt them tremendously. But certain trends, like those bad starts, continue. They can’t keep putting themselves in this position, can’t keep looking for late comebacks. On Saturday, they pulled a rabbit out of their hat. On Monday, there was no magic.

“Our first periods have been a concern most of the year,” Quenneville said. “Tonight it was one of those first periods, they get a power play but we’re still in the hockey game. We seem to be getting better as the games go on, but tonight wasn’t the case.”

Blackhawks 'mutually agree to part ways' with assistant coach Don Granato

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks 'mutually agree to part ways' with assistant coach Don Granato

The Blackhawks announced Wednesday that they have mutually agreed to part ways with assistant coach Don Granato. He was hired on June 15, 2017 and spent two seasons with the team.

“We appreciate Don’s contributions to the Blackhawks organization while on the staff,” head coach Jeremy Colliton said in a statement. “We wish him well in the future as he pursues other opportunities.”

The move allows Colliton to handpick his second assistant coach with Sheldon Brookbank remaining on the staff. The responsibilities between Brookbank and Granato were shared this season, but that's likely to change going into next season to a more traditional structure of one assistant coach handling the forwards and power play and the other the defensemen and penalty kill.

One potential candidate to fill the vacant position could be Derek King, who was on Colliton's staff with the Rockford IceHogs and served as the interim head coach for the remainder of the season after Colliton got promoted to Chicago. King is viewed as a player's coach and is well-respected within the organization.

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Hawks Talk Podcast: Evaluating Blackhawks defensemen prospects with Mark Eaton

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AP

Hawks Talk Podcast: Evaluating Blackhawks defensemen prospects with Mark Eaton

On the latest edition of the Hawks Talk Podcast, Blackhawks director of player development Mark Eaton joins the show to evaluate the organization’s top defensemen prospects and where each of them is at in their developments. Which ones could make the NHL jump next season?

Pat Boyle and Charlie Roumeliotis offer their takeaways from the Eaton interview and outlook the Blackhawks blue line group as a whole.

1:00 – Eaton on Henri Jokiharju’s development

3:30 – Adam Boqvist’s growth in North America

6:50 – Evaluating Nicolas Beaudin’s progression

8:15 – Surprised about Ian Mitchell’s decision to return to college?

10:55 – Assessing Chad Krys in college and AHL

13:10 – Challenge between stressing defensive side of game but not taking away from who the player is

15:55 – Which defensemen prospects could be in NHL next season?

18:25 – The message Erik Gustafsson’s breakout season sends to prospects

21:15 – Takeaways from Eaton interview

31:25 – Reviewing Blackhawks defensemen contracts

33:35 – Thoughts on Gustav Forsling

35:20 – The challenge for Blackhawks defense this offseason

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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