CHICAGO – The new coach of the Blackhawks got in the win column a lot like the old coach did on Wednesday night.
No, the team’s offense didn’t awaken and come through with a big effort as they might have hoped against the Blues at the United Center. Instead, it was good, old-fashioned grit in the goal from No. 50 that finally got Jeremy Colliton into the win column as Blackhawks’ head coach – and it was a long time coming for the team.
Corey Crawford pitched his first shutout of the season in his 10th game since his return to the lineup, and all 28 of those saves were needed. Brent Seabrook’s second period goal – which deflected of a Blues player’s skate – was the only goal of the night as the Blackhawks won it 1-0 for their first victory since October 25th.
The team was 6-2-2 at that point, but since they’ve gone eight games without a victory, mustering just two overtime points in that stretch in which Joel Quenneville was fired after a decade with the team. Colliton was able to get a point on Monday in an overtime loss at Carolina, but thanks to his goalie, he is finally in the win column in Chicago.
Unable to generate a hefty amount of chances on offense throughout the game, it became apparent early that Crawford would have to keep the Blues at bay. The Blackhawks only had 19 shots on goal for the contest, with the only goal coming on a fortunate tip in front of the net, with Seabrook’s shot hitting off the skate of Jay Bouwmeester in the crease and sneaking over the line for a 1-0 lead.
From there is was up to Crawford to hold down the Blues, and he did just that. Following a bit of a rough stretch where he allowed 11 goals in his last three games, the goalie stopped all 28 shots he faced on this night, including the last one from David Perron with 17 seconds left.
When the defense held down St. Louis in the closing seconds, Crawford had his first shutout since November 4th, 2017, when he blanked Minnesota 2-0 in St. Paul.
Wednesday was his first of this season and for Colliton is was the first of a career – a win that was both a lifetime and a couple of weeks in the waiting.