After a rough sophomore stint last season, Corey Crawford has kicked off the shortened 2013 campaign looking poised and confident in the net. The goaltender's hard work has paid off, and his leading role in the Blackhawks' franchise-best 6-0-0 start to the season has earned him the No. 2 spot on this week's NHL 'Three Stars' of the Week.
Crawford's posted five wins, a 1.78 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage. After recording 19 saves against the Kings, 32 against the Blues, and 21 in the Hawks' 3-2 overtime victory over Dallas, Crawford continued his successful performance with a pair of wins over the weekend against the Blue Jackets and Red Wings.
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Sharks left winger Patrick Marleau was named the NHL's No. 1 star of the week after recording four multi-point games, leading to a total of 13 points in five matchups. Marleau became the second NHL player in history to do so, following Cy Denneny's record-breaking performance during the 1917-18 season.
Marleau also became the first player in Sharks history to score a goal during each of his team's first five games of the season. The only other NHL players to do so were the Blues' Keith Tkachuk (six games) and the Sabres' Thomas Vanek (five).
Lightning right winger Martin St. Louis completes the list after recording 11 points throughout Tampa Bay's 4-1-0 run. His most impressive performance of the season came against the Capitals on Jan. 19 when he recorded two goals -- including the game winner -- and an assist.
St. Louis followed that performance by recording a goal and assist against the Islanders, two assists against the Senators and another four helpers in the Lightning's victory over the Flyers.
On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, forward Vinnie Hinostroza joins Pat Boyle and evaluates his rookie season, tells us how he has added MMA and Ju-jitsu to his offseason training and is he going to room with Ryan Hartman next season?
Plus, Tracey Myers joins Pat to discuss Patrick Kane’s first interview this offseason, the latest on the Blackhawks coaching moves and tournament fall-out for Artemi Panarin, Marcus Kruger and Alex DeBrincat.
Listen to the latest episode of the Hawks Talk Podcast below.
It’s been just over a month since the Blackhawks were eliminated from the playoffs in swift fashion. And as Patrick Kane told WGN Radio on Tuesday morning, the bitter taste hasn’t gone away.
“I think a lot of us didn’t figure we’d be in the situation we’re in right now,” Kane told Steve Cochran and Dave Eanet on Tuesday. “All of us can work this offseason to get better. It’s a long time to wait to get back to that opportunity to play in the playoffs again, so we’ll have a sour taste in our mouth for a while.”
The Nashville Predators, who made quick work of the Blackhawks in the first round, eliminated the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night to earn the first Stanley Cup Final appearance in franchise history. Kane told WGN he’s been watching the playoffs and said Nashville “has a pretty good system going.”
“They come at you, they play aggressive. I don’t think any of us would be a big fan of the way they defend in the neutral zone, just sitting back and playing that 1-3-1. But at the same time they come at you,” said Kane, who added that the Blackhawks “weren’t even close in that (first-round) series.”
“Maybe we had a chance in Game 3 when we were up 2-0, but it was a clean sweep and that’s probably how it should’ve been,” he said. “So now it’s time to regroup.”
When the Blackhawks had their wrap-up media session on April 22, general manager Stan Bowman was asked if some players, having won three Stanley Cups since 2010, had lost some of the hunger. Bowman didn’t buy that and neither did Kane.
“Four sounds a lot better than three, right?” he said. “It’s a long time away and a lot of work, but sometimes you go through those situations and you realize you won three Cups and it’s almost like you’re going to be there again. That’s where the reality check is for us now, realizing how hard it is to get back in that situation, how hard it is to win a Cup or go deep in this league. There’s a lot of work to be done.”