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Crawford gets crash course in playoffs

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Blackhawks rookie Corey Crawford got his first full dose of what it’s like to be a goalie in the playoffs Wednesday.

The Vancouver Canucks gave him a taste of what the Hawks did to goalie Roberto Luongo the last two seasons — and what should be expected come the postseason.

‘‘It seems like they were trying to push me before a play even happened,’’ Crawford said. ‘‘Get in, make contact and then get out quick and try to make it look like they weren’t in there. They’re trying to get traffic and trying to get me off my game. It’s part of it.’’

Crawford handled it all well, overcoming two goals allowed in the first period to shut out the Canucks the rest of the way. But he certainly could benefit from some assistance from his defense.

‘‘We’ve got to try and help him out there a bit,’’ defenseman Brent Seabrook said. ‘‘That’s what playoff hockey is, scoring those ugly goals, scoring the goals when you’re in the crease. We’ve got to do a better job of protecting [Crawford]. .  .  . He definitely gave us a chance to win. He really came out and played well. He was good.’’

Time to rest

The Hawks were given the day off Thursday. And some of their top forwards certainly needed it, especially if coach Joel Quenneville is going to double-shift them at times during the series.

Jonathan Toews (23:17), Patrick Kane (23:58), Patrick Sharp (20:56) and Marian Hossa (21:40) all played a ton, especially when compared with Canucks stars Henrik (17:11) and Daniel Sedin (16:35).

Part of it was that Tomas Kopecky was lost early with an upper-body injury and that Ryan Johnson was banged up later on, but an early 2-0 hole didn’t help, either.

‘‘We got behind early, [and] playing catch-up all game put us in a tough spot,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘We generated enough offense last night, but we didn’t have the finish to show for it. We played a game that was very loose, and across the board we were all victimized of not playing to our expectations.’’

In and out

Kopecky is doubtful for Game 2 after getting hurt when he was checked by Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard. Fernando Pisani is expected to take his place in the lineup.

Quenneville was asked whether using 6-8 John Scott was an option, possibly as a screen in front of Luongo.

‘‘We talk about everything,’’ he said. ‘‘That’s always been discussed.’’

Johnson will play despite enduring an awkward knee-on-knee hit late in Game 1.



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