Bolland an unlikely hero for Hawks
CHICAGO -- Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville deferred to his assistants on deciding who his fourth skater would be in the shootout on Thursday night against the St. Louis Blues. Mike Kitchen and Mike Haviland both said “Bolly” so Quenneville was “outvoted even if I didn’t want it,” he said afterwards. He went with Dave Bolland after the first three shooters all missed.
It was the right decision; Bolland faked Jaroslav Halak out and slid a forehand shot past him for the lone score in the shootout and a Hawks 4-3 win.
“You have 20,000 fans screaming and yelling, you’re thinking of so many moves in your head,” Bolland said. “For me going down, whatever came to my head, to try to do, to put it in.”
What came to his head was a beautiful deke move.
“Should I shoot or should I deke or should I bury my head and just try to run through him?” Bolland wondered.
He went with the deke and ended a thrilling game.
Craw sharp in shootout
Corey Crawford admittedly gave up a bad goal to cut a Hawks lead to one, 3-2, in the third period. But he made up for it in the shootout stopping all four Blues’ skaters.
“Oh, man. That was some relief,” Crawford said. “That felt good, that felt good. Maybe we should have pulled that off in regulation.”
They would have, if not for the stuff shot by Jason Arnott that got by him.
“We were in a good spot,” Crawford said of being up 3-1. “Definitely frustrating. That was definitely a bad goal on my part.”
But he came through in the end. Crawford has turned into one of the more reliable shootout netminders. He’s 5-3 this year but has stopped 21-of-26 shooters. His .808 save percentage is third best in the league for regular goalies.
“Just trying to get out there and have a good gap and good space where they make their first move,” Crawford said. “Just trying to outwait them and wait for them to move first.”
• The Hawks won the season series against St. Louis four games to two. They’ve beaten the Blues seven times in a row at the United Center.
• Andrew Brunette scored his 12th goal of the season. The Hawks are 25-2 when Brunette earns a point.
• Brent Seabrook tied a season-high with seven hits. He now ranks third among Western Conference defenders with 201 hits this year.
• The Hawks failed to clinch a playoff spot despite the win. Phoenix shutout San Jose 2-0 meaning the Hawks have to wait at least one more day.
“We were outplayed badly, I don’t even know how we got a point to be honest with you,” -- Blues coach Ken Hitchcock