The Chicago Blackhawks lost their second preseason game in a row last night, falling to the Boston Bruins with a score of 4-2. The Hawks, which pretty rolled out a B-team of sorts, were stunned by two rapid goals by the B’s. Bruins forward David Pastrnk opened the period with a well-placed shot beat Corey Crawford a mere 52 seconds into the first. A short 36 seconds later, Boston d-man Jeremy Lauzon took what seemed to be a harmless shot on goal and turned it into a 2-0 Bruins lead. Bruins left wing Anders Bjork made it 3-0 nine minutes into the frame. The Hawks did get onto the scoreboard though, with Brandon Saad redirecting a pass from d-man Erik Gustaffson for a power play goal late in the first.
The Hawks entered the second period looking more composed than they did in the first, with John Hayden adding to the visitors’ tally from a pass from Tanner Kero, but a power play goal from Bruins center Patrice Bergeron put the game out of reach for the Blackhawks. The Hawks did outshot the Bruins 26-23, but Bruins goalie Malcolm Subban stood tall, repelling 24 of them. Crawford made 19 saves.
Can Corey Crawford have those two goals back, please?
The Hawks defense didn’t really do him any favors, and the B-team forward roster was visibly rattled by the horrible way the game opened, and I’m pretty sure he was screened for the second goal by Lauzon, but Corey could have made the save at least on the Pastrnak goal. He was bit too deep in his own net with that one, and the Lauzon goal, though screened, was pretty much a soft floater from just inside the blue line. But Crow, ever the consummate professional, just let them slide off (especially once the Bruins crowd started chanting “CRAWFORD”, I mean, seriously, it’s the offseason, calm your shit) and kept his team in the game until the Bergeron goal in the third. All in all, any concerns about Crawford at this point are unwarranted and he should/will be fine.
John Hayden will not be ignored
I am now officially advocating for John Hayden to be on this team come Opening Night. His goal last night is the type of goal the Hawks have been missing these past two seasons. He scored it from a mini-breakaway, and he used his size and strength to basically shield the puck from not one but TWO Bruins d-men and fired it past Subban. It was a thing of beauty, really. A power forward’s goal. He was also effective on the power play. I mean, at 6’3 and 223 pounds, any goalie would be hard-pressed to see anything around him. He and Wingels and Kero could make for a pretty effective fourth line.
D-men had an “F” night
Thank God Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook still play for this team. Gustav Forsling had a BAD night. Turnovers basically peppered his game all night, including a really ugly one that led to the Bjork goal halfway through the first. Jordan Oesterle, while okay with joining in the rushes that Hawks were able to generate, basically cost the Hawks the Bergeron goal. Crawford tried to break up a pass from Bruins forward Brad Marchand on the crease, but Oesterle allowed Marchand to crash the net, which allowed Bergeron to be able to poke the puck in in the ensuing scramble. Jan Rutta looked like he had an okay game, but it was only because he really didn’t make any mistakes. Connor Murphy did provide some silver linings in an otherwise challenging night for the Hawks defense. He acquitted himself rather well on the penalty kill (which is 19 for 21 this preseason under the tutelage of assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson) and showed how much of a better skater he is than Nik Hjalmarsson. His pairing with Keith should provide the Hawks with some quality defense work this season.