Al Cimaglia | Jan 23, 2013 | Comments 0
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -The Chicago Blackhawks rewarded a United Center capacity crowd of 21,455 with a hard fought 3-2 victory versus the St. Louis Blues. The good news is the Hawks are undefeated in this young season. The best news is they probably can play better. At this point winning three games against tough opponents is a very nice accomplishment. It’s hard to believe the last time the Blackhawks began a year 3-0 was in 1972, and in that season they went to the Stanley Cup Finals.Tuesday night, the Hawks showed they can win without scoring a bunch of goals. Although, if it were not for some very good goalkeeping early in the contest by the Blues’ Brian Elliott, the home team may have had another six goal outburst. Elliott kept St. Louis in the game but by the end of the night he wasn’t the best goalie on the ice.Besides having a perfect record so far, the biggest accomplishment concerning this season might be the fact Corey Crawford has outplayed his counterpart in both of his outings. Tuesday night as the game wore on, the Blues took over the play and in the late going if not for Crawford, the outcome would have been different. Give Crawford his due as he has been technically sound and hasn’t wilted under pressure. It’s too early to say he will rebound to the form of his rookie season but no doubt Crawford has two nice wins under his belt.
The other noticeable factor effecting this season is apparently head coach Joel Quenneville is a changed man. Readers will recall in the past my contention the Blackhawks needed to spread the ice time out among defensemen. Another criticism of mine had been Quenneville never adjusted his style of play to account for different personnel. Three games is a very small sample but so far neither issue can be complained about.
Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook have had significant reductions in playing time compared to any season since Quenneville has been the head coach. Tuesday night, neither played as much as 23 minutes in a closely contested game. Nick Leddy, who may have played the strongest game of any defender, has been part of the third pairing. In the past the number five and six defensemen would be used sparingly. Against the Blues, Leddy was on the ice for 16:44 of playing time.
Read more: http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/20658340/joel-quenneville-a-changed-man-as-chicago-blackhawks-perfect-on-the-season#ixzz2IobfsztJ
Filed Under: Al Cimaglia • Chicago Blackhawks • Featured • NHL