Corey Crawford

With Crawford, Khabibulin hurt, ‘Hawks recall Simpson


The Chicago Blackhawks will have their goaltending depth tested this week.

With Corey Crawford nursing a lower-body injury (he won’t travel to Dallas for Tuesday’s game) and Nikolai Khabibulin on IR, the club was forced to recall Kent Simpson from AHL Rockford on Monday — meaning the ‘Hawks are now rolling with the goalie tandem that’s carried the IceHogs for most of this season.

Antti Raanta, previously called up in the wake of Khabibulin’s injury, will be Chicago’s temporary No. 1 while Simpson’s stint with the club largely depends on how fast Crawford and/or Khabibulin can get healthy. The veteran Russian was said to be “working out like crazy,” according to head coach Joel Quenneville, who also suggested Crawford’s injury isn’t too serious.

Simpson, 21, has appeared in 15 games with Rockford this season, posting a 6-7-0 record, with a 3.38 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage in those contests. Raanta is 3-0-1 for the ‘Hawks this year with a 2.16 GAA and .922 save percentage.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: