Crawford earns start, Turco has no hard feelings

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Crawford earns start, Turco has no hard feelings

Monday, Nov. 29, 2010
1:23 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

Corey Crawford earned the Blackhawks three needed victories on their long road trip. Now it looks like hes earned the start again Tuesday night when the Blackhawks host the St. Louis Blues.

Theres been no official word coach Joel Quenneville was attending Pat Burns funeral in Montreal while the Blackhawks practiced on Monday. But Marty Turco was asked if he expected to start Tuesday night, he said no.

He should; hes been playing great, Turco said. He won a few in a row and we want to get on a roll. Im here to win, no matter what. Hes a big part of our team so you want to see him continue to play well and see us keep getting points. Ill just stay ready until I get back in there.

Crawford has won four consecutive starts, including victories in back-to-back games vs. Anaheim and Los Angeles. Crawford has one career start vs. St. Louis, a 6-5 overtime loss back in 2005-06.

Theyve got a newer team last couple of years and I really havent faced them much, Crawford said. Theyre a fast team up front and they have a couple of guys who can play with the puck from the blue line. Theyre a young, energetic team and its going to be a good game.

Troy Brouwer said, We can help him out in clearing out rebounds, clearing shooting lanes, passing lanes for him so he only has to worry about shots. Hes making saves and our defensemen are doing the rest.

The Blackhawks are used to seeing split time among their goaltenders. Nikolai Khabibulin and Cristobal Huet started 42 and 41 games, respectively, in 2008-09. Last season Huet played in 48 regular-season games and Antti Niemi 39 before Niemis play earned him 22 playoff starts.

Crawford is currently sporting a 5-4-0 record with a 2.07 goals-against average. Turco, who is 8-7-2 with a 2.90 GAA, was 1-2-0 on the long road trip.

A few games we didnt play well in; I was in there I couldnt steal any games or wasnt good enough to get the win, said Turco.

There are a few details that you work on; you continue to work on them every day no matter how youre playing, Turco said. My focus has been good, position and tracking the puck well. But you hate not giving the team a better chance to win. You hate not winning. Its a lot more fun and enjoyable (when you do). You just continue to build and do the same and give the team what it needs when I get back in there.

Briefly
Fernando Pisani (upper body) did not practice on Monday. His status for Tuesdays game against St. Louis is not known.

The Blackhawks will play 10 of their next 13 games at home.

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

Resilient Wild make statement with comeback win over Blackhawks

Resilient Wild make statement with comeback win over Blackhawks

The Minnesota Wild have been chasing the Blackhawks for a long time.

They may not be so far away now.

After falling behind 2-0, the Wild scored three unanswered goals to beat the Blackhawks 3-2 at the United Center on Sunday night, and moved into sole possession of first place in the Central Division and Western Conference with 61 points, and still have four games in hand.

But even the Wild had to remind themselves that they're on the same playing surface as the Blackhawks, who eliminated Minnesota from the playoffs for three consecutive seasons from 2013-15, two of which were en route to Stanley Cup wins.

"We were pretty slow," coach Bruce Boudreau said about the team's first period. "I thought we were in a little bit of quick sand. We watched them play. I think it was a little bit more [we were] in awe. It's the Chicago Blackhawks, we're supposed to be in awe."

When they snapped out of it, the Wild looked like the team that has become one of the NHL's best, having now won 17 of their last 19 games.

Wild nemesis Patrick Kane scored the game's first two goals, but Minnesota displayed the type of resiliency every contender needs by evening it up in the second period thanks to a power-play goal by Nino Neiderreiter — his third goal in as many games — and Chris Stewart, who found the back of the net for the second consecutive contest.

Jason Pominville, who hadn't scored in 19 straight games, registered the game-winner early in the third period to cap off a Wild victory. It's Minnesota's eighth straight win against Chicago, a feat that even its coach can't explain.

"To beat this team eight times in a row is really something," Boudreau said. "I don't understand how you could do it. I wish I would have had that knowledge a couple years ago. But it's a new year and it's just one in a row right now."

That's one of many reasons why the Wild have been so successful this season. They're taking it one game at a time, and no matter what the score is, they continue to play the same way and have the belief they can win any game.

Less than 24 hours before their win over the Blackhawks, the Wild jumped out to a 4-0 lead in Dallas and squandered it in the third period. They found a way to bounce back, however, to take home a 5-4 victory in regulation.

So, how do they keep doing it?

"I don't know," Boudreau responded. "We're supposed to. If you want to win, you've got to come back, right? You got to believe. I think the biggest thing is believing you can, and that's the first step. If you don't believe you can come back, you never come back. If you always believe there's a chance, there's a good chance you can do it."

Said Stewart: "I just think we're a confident bunch. We believe in ourselves. We know we didn't get the start that we wanted, but we got one to crawl back in it and all this team needs is a little bit of life."

There's no better measuring stick than to beat a team in your division that's won three championships since 2010, and has been powerhouses in the West for nearly a decade.

And it's something the Wild hope — and believe — they're in the process of achieving.

"It's always a big rival," Neiderreiter said. "You always want to beat the Hawks. They won a few Stanley Cup in the past few years, and that's something we want to accomplish someday. To do that, we have to make sure we beat top teams like that."

Five Things from Blackhawks-Wild: Start strong, finish fizzles

Five Things from Blackhawks-Wild: Start strong, finish fizzles

Well, that weekend didn't go as planned.

The Blackhawks played a lot better on Sunday night but suffered the same fate as Friday, coming away with no points and losing first place in the Western Conference in their 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild.

Let's dispense with the frivolities. Here are Five Things to take away from the Blackhawks' loss to Minnesota.

1. Strong start. The Blackhawks needed to come out strong in this one, mainly because their Friday game against the Washington Capitals was so bad but also because the Wild were coming off a frenzied 5-4 victory over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night. The Blackhawks got the appropriate start, outshooting the Wild 14-8 and leading 1-0 on Patrick Kane's goal. Speaking of which… 

2. Kane with the great evening. The Blackhawks dressing seven defensemen meant one thing: Kane was probably going to get a lot of ice time. That he did, double-shifting with the second and fourth lines in the first period and giving the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead with first- and second-period goals. Kane finished with a career-high 12 shots on goal in 27:09 of ice time. "You know you're going to play a lot. I don't know if [27] minutes is that amount you want to be playing, but at the same time, you're not going to say no when he calls you to go out there too," Kane said.

3. The Wild respond in the second. Minnesota didn't have the best start but they regained momentum and erased a deficit in the second period. It's not that their chances were that much better than the Blackhawks – it was a fairly even period in every way, from shots on goal (16-15 Blackhawks) to overall play. But coach Joel Quenneville didn't like how the Blackhawks played on Nino Niederreiter or Chris Stewart's goals, calling the mistakes made on them, "cardinal sins."

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

4. Quiet night for the top line. Outside of Marian Hossa, the Blackhawks' top line didn't do much on Sunday night. Hossa had two shots on goal. Jonathan Toews had none, as it was another too-quiet night for the Blackhawks' captain. 

5. Minnesota keeps the rivalry edge. Remember those three consecutive springs in which the Blackhawks dispatched the Wild? Well, the past two seasons may not be equal in payback terms but the Wild are nevertheless tilting the rivalry – at least in regular-season games – in their favor. The Wild won all five games last season and took the first of this season, as well. Minnesota made some good offseason moves, including acquiring Eric Staal in July. Full marks to the Wild: right now, they are the cream of the Western Conference crop.