Blackhawks

Disaster in Dallas: Hawks suffer 'worst loss'

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Disaster in Dallas: Hawks suffer 'worst loss'

Thursday, March 17, 2011
Posted: 10:00 p.m. Updated: 11:19 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

DALLAS Back in February, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was at a loss in figuring out what happened in their loss to the Dallas Stars.

More than a month later, it was the same stuff, different day.

Angry Toews doesn't hold anything back

Five different Stars scored and the Blackhawks were punchless, emotionless and worst of all scoreless in a 5-0 drubbing to Dallas at the American Airlines Center.

The Blackhawks and Stars both have 84 points, but the Blackhawks drop to seventh in the Western Conference because Dallas won the season series (3-1-0).

Considering what was at stake, the Blackhawks effort or lack thereof was perplexing.

It looks we all picked the same night to crap the bed, Toews said. We couldnt have been a worse night of the year to do that. It feels like its dj vu. It feels like the same exact thing the last time we were here.

Problem was, its a month later and the Blackhawks are desperate for points. Yet they came out so-so and got worse as the night continued. Steve Ott scored on a breakaway and Jamie Benn scored on a 2 on 1 and the Blackhawks had absolutely no answers.

Corey Crawford was gone after Brenden Morrows goal three and a half minutes into the second period. He allowed three goals on 10 shots. Marty Turco finished, allowing two goals on 17 shots.

We were very generous on the type of goals and how they scored them, Quenneville said. All gifts.

At this point, it could be the Blackhawks worst loss this season.

Yeah, definitely, said defenseman Brent Seabrook. They wanted the game more than we did tonight. They won more battles, fought for loose pucks harder and when they had a chance they put it in the back of the net. We did the opposite of that.

Turco: Disappointing, embarrassing

Why that was, however, was a mystery to Quenneville.

Thats a tough one to explain, he said. There was nothing good about that game. I dont have a good answer to (the lack of emotion). We didnt see it coming. Were OK, its 1-0 and all of a sudden we became not smart and we didnt compete.

The Blackhawks frustration was evident as the game progressed. Toews said the Blackhawks best players needed to be that tonight, and they werent. The Blackhawks top line, which has sizzled for so long, was held to just three shots on goal.

And whether it was off a blocked Blackhawks shot or turnover or the Stars own hard work, Dallas had the upper hand throughout.

Its disappointing the way we played and the type of effort we seemed like we had, Turco said. Youre at that time of year when you have to move on, let it go. We need to figure out what to do to have a better start and tidy things up. Its over, its embarrassing, its sad, but we have to go on to the next one.

The Blackhawks probably want to forget about this one as quickly as possible. But with no game again until Sunday, theyll have nothing but time to think about the missed opportunity.

We shouldnt forget about this one too quick, Toews said. Theres no excuse for it. Those are two points we pretty much gave away. We knew it was going to be one of the toughest games of the year and we had one of our worst performances. Its pretty unacceptable.

Quennevilles summation was more succinct.

Over the course of year have some games you throw in the garbage can that you dont foresee happening. This is definitely one of them.

Playoff tickets on sale

The Blackhawks announced today that single-game tickets for the first two rounds of potential Stanley Cup playoff home games will go on sale to the general public at 11 a.m. Monday. Each customer will be limited to four total tickets. Refunds for not played playoff games will be available at the point of purchase. In that case, the card used to buy tickets by internet or phone will be automatically credited.

Tickets are available exclusively through Ticketmaster. Call (800) 745-3000 or go to ticketmaster.com.
Briefly

Bryan Bickell was a late scratch due to illness on Thursday. Quenneville said Bickell was fine after morning skate, which Bickell missed, but that the forward got sick later on in the day. We asked if he was ready to go and he was (this morning) but he got sick before the game. It can happen like that. We thought he was good to go. Things changed quickly, Quenneville said.

Theres an outside chance that defenseman Brian Campbell (foot) could join the Blackhawks when they play the Phoenix Coyotes on Sunday. Dave Bolland (concussion) is likely out for that game.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

How Blackhawks plan to handle Corey Crawford's workload

How Blackhawks plan to handle Corey Crawford's workload

Corey Crawford is back and it didn't look like he skipped much of a beat. The Blackhawks were handed their first regulation loss of the season to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, but the 33-year-old netminder stopped 27 of 30 shots (.900 save percentage) in his season debut and made several timely saves to keep his team in it.

In the larger picture, it was a win based on how well Crawford looked between the pipes.

"Yeah, I think it is," coach Joel Quenneville said after practice on Friday. "It's one of things we were wondering, how he would handle post-game and how he came in today. Very encouraging signs. He felt good in all aspects of what he went through and dealt with, and practiced well today too, so that was good."

The first one is in the books.

But what's the plan going forward? Will Crawford be on a "pitch count" or will they treat him like they have in past seasons when he was healthy?

In the past, Crawford has generally started somewhere in between 55-58 games per season. Part of that has been because of injuries. Another part is the Blackhawks have had reliable backups, which allowed them to give Crawford an extra night off here and there to keep him fresh.

It's not unreasonable, though, to think Crawford could flirt with 50 starts, considering he missed only five games to start the season. And they can still accomplish that by playing it safe.

The Blackhawks have 13 more back-to-backs this season, which gives them the opportunity to start Cam Ward at some point in each of them. That leaves room for another 15 or so starts to sprinkle in for Ward that could serve as rest days for Crawford and still being on track to start around 50.

Obviously, the Blackhawks want to be careful with how much they ask of Crawford because concussions are tricky to deal with and every player responds differently to it.

His return comes at a time where the Blackhawks are slated to play seven games in 11 days after playing just two in the previous 10. Thursday marked the start of that stretch.

"He’ll tell us how he feels and we’ll go from there and make those decisions," Quenneville said.

The Blackhawks have been on record saying they prefer not to carry three goaltenders. But in this case it makes sense. At least in the short term.

Quenneville said Friday that the Blackhawks will reevaluate the situation at the end of the weekend following the beginning of a busy stretch where they'll play three games in four days.

"Yeah, that’s the mindset," he said. "Let’s see how we handle these three in four and then we’ll address it."

Crawford is expected to start on Saturday in Columbus, making it his second start in three days. That's when they'll get a better sense of how he's handling things.

If it were up to him, Crawford said he feels he's prepared for it.

"Yeah, sure," Crawford said. "Why not? I've been working hard with [strength and conditioning coach Paul Goodman]. He's got me where I need to be, so I'm in shape right now. Why not?"

Hawks Talk Podcast: Thoughts on Corey Crawford's season debut

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: Thoughts on Corey Crawford's season debut

In the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Jamal Mayers and Charlie Roumeliotis recap Corey Crawford’s season debut after missing nearly 10 months with a concussion.

Mayers talks about the Kitty system that Niklas Hjalmarsson and Vinnie Hinostroza probably dealt with in their returns to Chicago.

The guys also discuss what’s next for Crawford, the upcoming matchup against Artemi Panarin and the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Blackhawks’ biggest areas for improvement.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below, and be sure to subscribe, rate us and write a review!