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Continued: Scouting the Blackhawks

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  • Last update: May 1, 2014 - 9:37 PM

Goaltending

Crawford played every game during the Blackhawks’ run to the Stanley Cup last season and topped an outstanding regular season with an even stronger performance in the playoffs, recording a goals-against average of 1.84 and save percentage of .932 in the postseason. In 43 career playoff games, he is 25-17 with a GAA of 2.03 and save percentage of .926. Backup Antti Raanta played in 25 games in the regular season, going 13-5-4 with a GAA of 2.71 and save percentage of .897.

Coaching

A rash of injuries and a post-Olympic slump created some challenges for coach Joel Quenneville this season. He appears to have gotten his team back on track — and himself, too, after being fined $25,000 by the NHL for an obscene gesture he made to an official in Game 1 against the Blues. Quenneville has the luxury of a deep, multitalented roster and knows how to motivate his players.

Special teams

Like the Wild, the Blackhawks had a poor penalty kill during the regular season but have improved dramatically in the playoffs. In their six-game series against St. Louis, they allowed only two power-play goals on 29 attempts to top the NHL at 93.1 percent, with defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson and Keith leading the way. As for the power play, location is everything. Chicago is hitting on 25 percent of its attempts at United Center (two goals on eight chances) but has a woeful 8.3 percent success rate on the road (1-for-12).

projected lineup

Forward lines

Bryan Bickell-Jonathan Toews-Marian Hossa

Patrick Sharp-Ben Smith-Patrick Kane

Brandon Saad-Marcus Kruger-Andrew Shaw

Brandon Bollig-Michal Handzus-Kris Versteeg

Defense pairings

Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya-Niklas Hjalmarsson

Nick Leddy-Michal Rozsival

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    After defeating Colorado in seven games there’s no rest for the Wild, not with Cup-winning Chicago on the horizon.

  • St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo scores past Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford to tie the game in third period action during Game 5 of a Western Conference quarterfinal playoff game Friday, April 25, 2014, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. (AP Photo/The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chris Lee) ORG XMIT: MIN2014050116280972

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