Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Streaking/Slumping: Crawford stingy again
By Jesse Rogers
1. Corey Crawford, Goalie: Dubbed the second star of the week in the NHL, Crawford is back as the starter heading down the stretch. He helped the Hawks beat the St. Louis Blues, pitching a shutout for 45 minutes in relief then stopped all three players in the shootout. He followed that up with a near full-game shutout in Dallas, going 99:10 over the two games without giving up a goal. He was solid again against Washington in a 5-2 win and so in this small sample size he’s playing as well as he has all season, though the defense in front of him has been much better.
2. Brent Seabrook, Defense:Johnny Oduya is garnering positive headlines for what’s he’s brought to the team since coming over in a trade, but Seabrook has been a monster on the ice and the scoresheet. He’s being physical, he’s blocking shots and adding points. He has a goal and two assists over the past three games. His highlights include a team-tying best plus-3 against Washington on Sunday, another plus-3 with four shots and three hits on Friday against Dallas and a huge game-tying goal against St. Louis on March 13. He had five shots and six hits in the comeback win, one of Seabrook’s better games of the season. He has truly been doing it all.
1. Jimmy Hayes, Forward: He played a career low 3:01 against St. Louis last week and then two games later he was a healthy scratch in favor of Michael Frolik. Hayes simply hasn’t been as noticeable lately, and that’s not a good thing when you’re 6-foot-6, 221 pounds. Since being recalled on Feb. 18, for a second time this season, Hayes has just a goal and an assist in 14 games. Both points came in the same contest so he’s been shut out in the other 13. He’s not getting the minutes, but he’s not earning them either. Hayes admitted he needed to get back to “doing the things that got me here.” That includes crashing the net and using his big frame and skating ability to cause havoc.
2. Jonathan Toews, Forward: Out of the lineup is about the only way Toews would find his way into the Slumping column. Really, it’s just his recovery that’s Slumping. On the ice for four days and feeling optimistic about his return gave way to a relapse of concussion symptoms which have kept him out of the lineup for 13 games. Fortunately, the Hawks went 8-4-1 in that time frame, but there is no timetable for Toews’ return. He hasn’t skated or practiced with his team since last week though there might be some encouraging signs over the next few days, if his off-ice recovery keeps progressing. Whenever he skates again he’s still probably a week to 10 days away from playing.