Crawford: You can't expect our guys to come back every game like that

 
 
Updated 11/28/2018 9:55 PM
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  • Vegas Golden Knights center Cody Eakin (21) scores a goal past Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford (50) and defenseman Duncan Keith (2) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, in Chicago.

    Vegas Golden Knights center Cody Eakin (21) scores a goal past Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford (50) and defenseman Duncan Keith (2) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, in Chicago.

A blunt, to-the-point Corey Crawford didn't hold back one day after the Chicago Blackhawks dropped an 8-3 decision to Vegas on Tuesday at the United Center.

"I mean, (we) got embarrassed on home ice," Crawford said after Wednesday's practice at MB Ice Arena. "Terrible game."

Crawford gave up 6 of those goals in just 40 minutes as the Golden Knights built a 6-2 lead after two periods.

He committed a major error midway through the first period by throwing the puck up the side boards with no Hawks in sight. Alex Tuch raced in, fired a shot from the slot and gave Vegas a 2-0 lead.

"I thought I saw our guy," Crawford said. "I don't know what I saw. (It's) one of those plays where you think you see something. It was wrong. Just got to be more aware, just be a little safer with the puck."

In hindsight, Crawford could have backhanded the puck behind his net, or let Brandon Manning try to win possession against Vegas' Cody Eakin.

Crawford got off to a sizzling start this season, allowing 6 goals in his first four starts. After a rough patch, he then stopped 98 of 100 shots against St. Louis, Los Angeles and Minnesota, earning Second Star honors two weeks ago.

Since then, the veteran netminder has stopped just 72 of 86 shots (.837 save percentage) and has an unsightly 5.45 goals-against average in his last three starts.

"It's not good enough," Crawford said. "You can't expect to win hockey games when you're giving up that many goals -- especially early in games. It's 3, 4-0 before the game even starts.

"You can't expect our guys to come back every game like that. It's no fun. It's hard."

Every second important:

Opponents have been making the Hawks pay for nearly every mistake the past four games. Patrick Kane admitted that some errors are occurring because players are mentally relaxing for a second or two.

And that's all it takes for most teams to make them pay.

"Players in this league are too good, they're going to make plays and it's in the back of your net," Kane said. "Then it's like, 'What just happened?' "

Never taking a second off is something coach Jeremy Colliton preached in Rockford and has been trying to instill in the Hawks since he took over for Joel Quenneville on Nov. 6.

"We need to be willing to defend every shift -- every part of every shift," Colliton said. "We're going to be able to score enough goals. We created lots yesterday (against Vegas). …

"If we defend better -- if we're sharper mentally when it comes time to defend -- the game will be much easier. We'll give ourselves a chance."

Slap shots:

Henri Jokiharju did not participate in practice Wednesday, but he will travel with the Hawks to Winnipeg for Thursday's game. … Vegas' 8 goals Tuesday were the most allowed by the Hawks since Edmonton beat them 8-4 on Feb. 2, 2012. Sam Gagner had 4 goals and 4 assists that night.

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