Detroit Red Wings v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Seven

Kings’ Sutter on Blackhawks’ Crawford: ‘He’s had a helluva year’


L.A. Kings head coach Darryl Sutter can sometimes be a man of few words.

But he offered compliments toward Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford on Friday, the day before the Blackhawks and Kings meet in Game 1 of the Western Conference final.

“We  have  to beat Corey Crawford to win a game. You can’t  win  0-0. You can get 0-0 in the regular season, but you can’t get
wins in playoffs,” Sutter told reporters.

|He’s had a helluva year. Didn’t he win the Jennings? You better give Corey Crawford lots of credit.”

As a matter of fact, he and back-up Ray Emery did win the Jennings Trophy, giving up the fewest goals against – a grand total of 102 – during the regular season.

Despite just beginning the third round, Crawford is already gaining recognition as a potential candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of these playoffs.

The goalie he’ll be facing in this series, Jonathan Quick, is among the frontrunners for the Conn Smythe.

Quick leads all NHL goalies during this post-season in three of four major categories, and is tied with Crawford and Boston Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask for the most wins, with eight.

While Quick has been excellent, so, too has Crawford.

“He’s a top goaltender in the league and he’s proven that every game this year and through the playoffs, too. We’re lucky to have him,” Patrick Kane told CSN Chicago.

“He takes up a lot of space, a lot of room. It’s nice to see him do well because he works hard. It’s good to see that work paying off.”

Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’

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Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.

So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?


You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.