Crawford, Blackhawks look solid in exhibition victory over St. Louis
Corey Crawford started in net and made 11 saves during the Blackhawks' 4-0 exhibition victory over St. Louis in Edmonton on Wednesday.
Crawford played 30 minutes, six seconds and was rarely tested during the Hawks' only warmup game before they begin a best-of-five play-in series against Edmonton on Saturday.
Brandon Saad and Dylan Strome scored 92 seconds apart midway through the second period to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead. Dominik Kubalik then scored a pair of power-play goals in the third period to complete the scoring.
Malcolm Subban relieved Crawford and made 10 saves.
Crawford, who contracted the coronavirus before training camp began July 13, seems to be in line to start Game 1 vs. Edmonton.
"Thought he was solid," said coach Jeremy Colliton. "He continues to play the puck really well. It was a good step forward for him."
"He just calms us all down," said forward Dylan Strome. "Has all that playoff experience and he's been great all year. ... We feel very confident when he's in the net."
Kubalik, who scored 30 goals and is a finalist for rookie of the year, was placed on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad after spending all of camp on the third line.
"We knew that Toews and Kubalik and Saad had a good chemistry and they play a little bit different style in the offensive zone compared to the other lines we have," Colliton said. "So as you go into the playoffs it's only natural you'd look at that combo as being an option."
The game was sloppy at first, with plenty of missed passes and turnovers by both sides. The Hawks settled in during the second period and began playing the smart, disciplined style that must be on display at all times vs. the Oilers.
"A lot of the things we did tonight will transfer," Colliton said. "It was a great situation for us to play St. Louis. I (know) they have some round-robin games before they get into the life-or-death situation (and) they maybe weren't at full strength, full speed.
"But regardless, they're a detailed team and they pose a lot of the same problems that Edmonton will, so it was really good preparation for us."
Blackhawks policy change:
The Blackhawks released a statement Wednesday telling fans that Native American headdresses will no longer be allowed at home games or team events.
The statement read, in part: "These symbols are sacred, traditionally reserved for leaders who have earned a place of great respect in their Tribe, and should not be generalized or used as a costume or for everyday wear."
The statement went on to say that the organization is "building a platform that will further integrate Native American culture and storytelling across our organization."
There will be more community engagement, front-office education and an increased presence during game presentation and across digital channels.