From Crawford on out, Blackhawks come up big defensively


From Crawford on out, Blackhawks come up big defensively

It took the Minnesota Wild nearly half the first period of Game 2 inside the United Center to register a shot on goal, and it wasn't until the third period that Matt Dumba got the visiting team on the board.

After allowing three goals in a single period five separate times this postseason — including in Game 1 against Minnesota — the Blackhawks needed to put on a better defensive performance. 

On Sunday, they did just that.

"That was another big win for us," Crawford said following the Blackhawks' 4-1 win. "We want to be up 2-0 going into their building. We had a lot of good chances tonight and we were able to capitalize on the really good ones. That definitely felt good for the team right now."

From Crawford on out, the Blackhawks put on arguably their best defensive performance of the postseason. Pair that with star players putting pucks in the back of the net, and it resulted in the type of strong 60-minute performance the Blackhawks had been looking for.

[SHOP: Buy a Corey Crawford jersey]

"I think it was our best game all the way around," coach Joel Quenneville said. "Good pace and energy from the outset, good pace to our game, defensively solid, all lines were consistent, had a lot of offensive zone time, puck possession. We played the right way."

Jonathan Toews opened the scoring with a short-handed goal off a feed from Marian Hossa. The Wild responded the way you'd expect, fighting to get the puck into their offensive zone in an attempt to shift the momentum their way as quickly as possible.

Crawford, however, was having none of that, and made a number of big saves just after Toews' goal that led to a standing ovation from the crowd.

"That was huge," Quenneville said. "They had swarming on the net, two or three shots, crowd went crazy. Corey was solid. They had a couple of big flurries in the game but Corey was outstanding in those situations. Kept the momentum going our way even though they had a couple of good looks."

[MORE: Stars shine bright for Blackhawks in Game 2 win]

That momentum resulted in a goal from Patrick Kane just 19 second before the end of the second period. And while Dumba's goal is one Crawford would like to take back, his strong response after that kept the Wild from scoring again as Patrick Sharp and Kane went on to give Chicago more breathing room.

"There's lot of talk about the goals we scored, and the defensive plays leading to those guys scoring the goals, but Crow made some huge saves there in the second period to keep us I think tied in the beginning and made some big saves a 1-0 for us," Sharp said. "That's big. The building gets into it, they start chanting his name. That energy feeds into our lineup and we play better from there." 

With Sunday's win, the Blackhawks have remained undefeated in postseason games against Minnesota while on home ice. Crawford was a big reason that statistic remained perfect for Chicago as he made 30 saves in their Game 2 victory.

Now the Blackhawks will look to carry that type of defensive performance and momentum on the road as they head to Minnesota for Games 3 and 4.

"It's nice to get these two wins but by no means are we satisfied," Patrick Kane said. "We took care of business at home, now we have to go on the road and focus on Game 3."

Top 6 Blackhawks pop culture salutes ever


Top 6 Blackhawks pop culture salutes ever

The Original Six team with six Stanley Cups in franchise history known as the Chicago Blackhawks has gotten plenty of salutes from movies, TV shows and other avenues of entertainment over the years. Here are the top six pop culture nods according to us:

6. The Dilemma

The 2011 comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James features lengthy scenes shot at actual Blackhawks games at the United Center in 2010. Even Blackhawks arena announcer Gene Honda has lines in the picture. 

5. Sudden Death 

Jean-Claude Van Damme. There's nothing else needed to defend this selection. But, the 1995 action flick puts the Blackhawks against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, of course with the Vice President in attendance.

Actual storyline: The Pittsburgh Civic Arena is wired with explosives that could destroy the whole city. It's up to arson investigator Darren McCord to stop it before the game ends. 

The movie even spawned a delightful song in a Chris Pratt Parks and Rec deleted scene. 

4. NHL '94 Roenick in Swingers

Vaughn and co. play the 1994 installment of the EA Sports NHL video game in the 1996 film with the Blackhawks taking on the LA Kings and hilarity ensues. 

3. Queen's We Will Rock You music video

Off the 1977 album "News of the World", the music video for We Will Rock You features bassist John Deacon sporting a sweet Hawks letterman-type jacket. 

2. Christmas Vacation 

[*Strong language]

"The silent majesty of a winter's morn; the clean, cool chill of the holiday air...." 

This Blackhawks shoutout in the classic Christmas comedy is too great not to make the top 2. You'll still see "Griswold" white Blackhawks jerseys pop up at the United Center during the holiday season to saltue the 1989 film. Rusty also wears a red Hawks sweater when Clark is putting the infamous bright lights on the house. 

1. Wayne's World

It might be a predictable No.1 pick, but come on. Mike Myers and Dana Carvey worked the Hawks into this iconic 1992 comedy in an epic way. The duo also gave the Blackhawks a big shoutout on Feb. 15, 2015 when Mike Myers wore a Hawks sweater as Wayne in a Wayne's World sketch for SNL's 40th anniversary. 

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Patrick Kane’s love-hate relationship with St. Louis fans highlight of 2020 NHL All-Star Game

USA Today

Patrick Kane’s love-hate relationship with St. Louis fans highlight of 2020 NHL All-Star Game

ST. LOUIS — Patrick Kane has been booed all weekend in St. Louis and the nine-time Blackhawks All-Star poked a little bit of fun at Blues fans for their, shall we say, warm welcoming. But Saturday put the crowd in a weird spot.

On one hand, Kane is an arch rival in St. Louis. On the other, he represented the Central Division and was teammates with the four Blues All-Stars (Jordan Binnington, Ryan O'Reilly, David Perron and Alex Pietrangelo).

After falling into a 3-0 hole to the Pacific Division, the Central Division stormed back for three straight goals. Perron scored the second goal, which drew huge cheers. Fourteen seconds later, Kane scored the equalizer, which also drew loud cheers. 

But then the St. Louis fans realized who had scored and Kane had some fun with them by holding his glove up to his ear. 

"Tried to like put my hand up to my ear to hear the boos," Kane said. "But then I was showing them that hey, I’m playing with the Blues players, I’ve got the same jersey as them. Just had fun with it. "

The Blues found themselves conflicted for a second time when Kane evened the score at 5-5 after converting on a breakaway. The interaction between Kane and the crowd was the most memorable moment of the night.

"It’s all in good fun," Kane said following a 10-5 loss to the Pacific Division. "To be honest with you, sometimes you get booed, you kind of like it a little bit. It’s St. Louis and Chicago, it’s a huge rivalry. Not only in hockey, but pretty much every other sport they play against each other. I guess that’s only baseball, but, you know what? Had a lot of fun this weekend and I thought that was a pretty cool moment."

Even the Blues had fun with it.

"Those were boos," a smiling Pietrangelo said. "Not cheers."

But at least somebody had sympathy for Kane.

"I felt bad for Kaner," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "He comes out in his introductions and is getting booed and stuff and then he scores and they're cheering for him. Tough situation for him. Players all know. They all handle it very well. It's a fun event."

In the end, it provided entertainment and brought some life to the event. What Kane is really trying to figure out is why he's snake bitten at All-Stars Games. He hasn't won since 2012 in Ottawa when Team Zdeno Chara defeated Team Daniel Alfredsson 12-9 under the fantasy draft format.

"I know, right?" Kane said. "Central can’t get over the hump. We won one last year and lost in the final. I think every time you look at the roster, you always think you have a really good roster with some of the players that are on the team, and for whatever reason we can’t do it."

The Central Division slipped to 1-5 under the 3-on-3 format, but Kane may have a solution on how to fix their struggles.

"Maybe it would be better if the Central played an Eastern team next year or something," Kane said half-jokingly. "Maybe you could switch it up that way."

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