Crawford to start in net, Hawks fight to avoid elimination


Crawford to start in net, Hawks fight to avoid elimination

GLENDALE -- Corey Crawford will start in goal and Jonathan Toews was rallying the team as the Chicago Blackhawks try to stave off elimination in Game 5 against the Phoenix Coyotes tonight.

There was a question whether Crawford, who has allowed two bad goals for the Coyotes' overtime winners in Games 3 and 4, would start this game, possibly the last for the Blackhawks as they try to overcome a 3-1 deficit in this Western Conference Quarterfinal series. But coach Joel Quenneville said the Blackhawks are comfortable with Crawford, and he gets the go.

As for those past goals, Crawford said, "there's nothing I can do about that now. Its whats next. And I'll focus on the present."

The Blackhawks also have to be focused right now. After Quenneville did his usual post-skate talk, Toews grabbed the team together and talked to them a few moments more. Quenneville said the Blackhawks have to bring some energy fast tonight.

"We need more pace, enthusiasm, and we need to be all-out desperate tonight. Thats where we have to get our excitement," he said. "We have to look at the smaller picture. It's comparable to last year (when we) found a way to work ourselves back. We have to get some positive encouragement. We're at the point where talk isnt going to get it done. We have to get reaction."

It appears Brenden Morrison will be in the lineup for the second consecutive game.

Marian Hossa did not make the trip but the Blackhawks put his equipment in a locker here at Jobing.com Arena.

Would Wendell Carter Jr. be picked higher if the NBA Draft was today?

Would Wendell Carter Jr. be picked higher if the NBA Draft was today?

According to Bleacher Report, Wendell Carter Jr. would be taken fourth overall by the Memphis Grizzlies if the NBA were to redraft this year’s class based off of Summer League performances.

It may sound like a crazy concept (and it is), but Carter Jr. averaged the second most points, 14.6, through five July games in Las Vegas. He also averaged 9.4 rebounds and shot 55 percent from the field while averaging 28.8 minutes in his glamorous first-stint with Chicago. Those numbers are even more striking if you consider Carter Jr.’s 42.9 percent shooting from behind the three-point line.

Carter Jr., the real seventh overall pick of this year’s NBA Draft, looked like the all-around player the Bulls were hoping to get this offseason. He made his blocking abilities as a center known from the moment he stepped on the court in Summer League.

In their re-draft, Bleacher Report had Chicago using the No. 7 pick on the New York Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson, who was actually taken 36th overall in last month’s Draft.

Robinson, a center, averaged 13 points and 24.8 minutes per game over five Summer League contests. He was the best rebounder on his team with an average of 10.2 in the five games that the Knicks played.

The 20-year-old took the second most shots on the Knicks and had the highest field goal percentage at 67 percent, but Robinson did not have any three-point attempts.  What made his recent production seem even more surprising was the fact that the 7'1'' big man did not play a single minute of college basketball.

But would Robinson fit in the Bulls’ system?

Chicago has taken on an offense-first mentality, so Robinson would not be as great of a fit in the Bulls lineup as Carter Jr., but he would still be an impact player. He can be compared to the Bulls’ current center Robin Lopez, who averaged a similar amount of points per game (11.8 points in 26.4 minutes) last season as Robinson’s Summer League average (13 points in 24.8 minutes). And like Lopez, Robinson will likely be most effective around the basket and in the pick-and-roll.

Robinson would also have to learn the defensive concepts that a veteran like Lopez has mastered over his 10-year career.

Next season, the Bulls will have an exciting scoring trio of Jabari Parker, Lauri Markkanen and Carter Jr. in the frontcourt. And the fact that Carter Jr. is getting so much love in the national spotlight is yet another reason for Bulls fans to be excited about this upcoming season.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: What else can the Blackhawks do this summer?


Blackhawks Talk Podcast: What else can the Blackhawks do this summer?

On the latest edition of the Hawks Talk Podcast, Charlie Roumeliotis is joined by Scott Powers of The Athletic to discuss Stan Bowman's comments following the Marian Hossa trade and debate whether they're finished making moves this summer.

They also provide their thoughts on the Blackhawks' top prospects and which players have caught their attention as development camp winds down.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below: