Second period was all Corey Crawford. This game could easily be 3-0 at this point. Crawford stopped 15 Vancouver shots in all to keep the score 1-0 through forty minutes. His biggest save was one he absolutely needed to make after turning the puck over behind his goal. With the Hawks on the power play (Jannik Hansen in the box for tripping Sharp), Crawford was trying to ease a dump in to a retreating Duncan Keith. Keith was being hounded by Mason Raymond and Crawford didn’t lay the puck out far enough behind the goal for Keith and Keith overskated it and Raymond had an easy takeaway. Keith really had no chance on the play. Raymond then moved out front but Crawford turned his chance away.
Crawford’s two other huge stops came 39 seconds apart, both on Henrik Sedin, the second a goal line stand with a little help from Marcus Kruger who has been good in his role tonight.
The Blackhawks appeared gassed by the end of the period. Vancouver didn’t let up at all coming out for the second, continuing to put the heat on Chicago in all zones. The Hawks defense have little time and space in the offensive zone and the Canucks are effectively clearing their zone. The Canucks appear to be tireless.
Vancouver continues to out hit the Hawks, 13-7 in the second period and out shot Chicago as well, 15-6 and 23-18 now overall in the game.
The Rogers Arena is reacting vociferously to every perceived non-call, with an obvious slant towards the home team. Not unexpectedly the officials are trying to stay out of this game and a very reluctant to call anything. That said, there’s been no rhyme or reason to the two penalties they have called, versus what they’ve let go. Still, it has the feeling each team will get a power play opportunity in the third period.
Marian Hossa had a nice steal in the Cancucks’ zone seven minutes into the second, but aside from that, he’s been laregly invisible tonight. Jonathan Toews was better in the circle that period and is everywhere but he’s missing a gear as has been the case most of the series.
Coming into the game, for those who have followed the Hawks all year long, the very least you wanted to see was another strong Crawford performance. So far they’ve seen it. Crawford is main reason Chicago even made the playoffs and its a crime he wasn’t one of the Calder trophy (rookie of the year) finalists. The worst thing that could happen at this point would be for Crawford to wind up being the game 7 goat. Through two, Crawford’s again been the Hawks best player by a wide margin.
Twenty minutes to go in regulation. Game 7. Vancouver leads 1-0.