The facts: 6:30, Versus, 720-AM.
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
DETROIT — The Blackhawks have little margin for error, and that can lead to nervousness, especially for first-year players such as goalie Corey Crawford.
“I was maybe a little bit nervous the last game, but that just comes with it,” Crawford said. “It’s part of playing hockey. But it’s fun. It’s a lot of fun playing these games. I’ve got a lot of confidence in our guys. I don’t really think about it. It just goes away after a while. I’m just focused, and it goes away.”
That “last game” was Crawford’s 2-1 loss Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks, which was billed as “the most valuable two points” for the Hawks this season by coach Joel Quenneville.
Now, every game should have that feel to it, especially against the Detroit Red Wings, who can ruin the Hawks’ playoff hopes.
Nerves, though, failed to shake Crawford on Monday at Joe Louis Arena. He again showed why he’s in the Calder Trophy discussion, turning away several quality chances and fighting through his team’s penalty problems and poor performance in the faceoff circle.
“Crawford has been really good down the stretch,” Quenneville said. “He’s had the ball, and he welcomes the next challenge, the next game, the next shot and the next opponent. You’ve got to like his demeanor and approach.”
The victory was Crawford’s 30th of the season. He’s the first Hawks goalie to reach the 30-win plateau since Jocelyn Thibault had 33 in 2001-02.
Another head hit
Hawks center Ryan Johnson briefly left the game against the Red Wings after getting elbowed in the head by Todd Bertuzzi 5:17 into the first period.
Johnson went to the locker room to be examined for a possible concussion, but he returned before the period was over. Bertuzzi was assessed a five-minute elbowing penalty and a game misconduct.
Johnson suffered a concussion earlier in the season and was put on injured reserve after he got his “bell rung pretty good” by the Dallas Stars’ Jeff Woywitka on Feb. 11.
Ready in Beantown
It doesn’t get any easier for the Hawks tonight in Boston. The Bruins clinched a playoff spot with their victory Sunday against the Philadelphia Flyers and haven’t played since.
“[The Hawks are] a desperate team,” coach Claude Julien told reporters Monday. “We talked about how those kinds of games should be helpful. If we’re not ready for games like that, you can be embarrassed pretty easily.’’