Hawks Fall to Kings; Need More Depth

Has Corey Crawford's play been well enough to win a Stanley Cup? (ESPN)
Is Corey Crawford a Stanley Cup-caliber goaltender? (ESPN Photo)

The Chicago Blackhawks fell to the Los Angeles Kings by a final score of 5-4. Dustin Brown scored the game-winning goal with 90 seconds left in regulation. Michael Frolik scored the first two goals of the game. Those were the first goals he has scored since the season opener (ironically against the Kings). Corey Crawford was sub-par in net. He gave up 5 goals on 36 shots (.861 save percentage) and many of those goals he would wish he had back. I happened to attend the game Monday, and from my view it was obvious that the team did not play with full intensity.

Luckily for the Blackhawks, the Anaheim Ducks fell yet again in regulation on Monday. This time it was to the San Jose Sharks by a final score of 5-3. The Ducks are off tomorrow and they have played one more game than the Hawks thus far. This means that the Blackhawks can yet again attain a five-point lead in the conference standings with a win tomorrow night against Calgary.

The Blackhawks must get back on track against Calgary tomorrow for a couple of reasons. One reason is so the Hawks can get back on track; but the other reason is to impress Flames winger Jarome Iginla. Iginla, 35, has said recently that he would waive his no-trade clause to four teams: the Boston Bruins, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the L.A. Kings, and the Chicago Blackhawks. Iginla has 525 career goals and he would be a good addition to the Blackhawks because he can throw his weight around, but yet can put the puck in the net.

Another Flames player that has been perused (to some sort) by the Blackhawks is goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff. Kiprusoff, 36, is a very consistent goaltender. He was in between the pipes when the Flames won the Western Conference title in 2004. He also has been a goaltender for the Finland national team. The Blackhawks would only pull the trigger on this deal if they felt that they could not win a Stanley Cup with Corey Crawford and Ray Emery.

The Blackhawks probably need one or two more pieces to the puzzle before the trading deadline (April 3) in order for them to have a great shot at winning the Cup. Iginla and Kiprusoff may be players that are the difference makers. Other players that the Blackhawks could look at include Washington Capitals Center Mike Ribeiro and Dallas Stars Forwards Derek Roy and Jaromir Jagr.

Ribiero, 33, has played for the Montreal Canadiens and the Dallas Stars until he signed a one-year deal with the Capitals last offseason. Due to the Capitals slow start to the season. He may be expendable.  He has had a career-best season with the Canadiens and he would fill the void at the second line center position.

Roy, 29, is in his first season with the Dallas Stars. He previously played for the Buffalo Sabres. Roy has always had star potential (no pun intended), but he has not meet those expectations to this point. Yet, he would also fill the void at second line center. He has also received interest from the Anaheim Ducks.

Jagr, 41, is also in his first season with the Stars. He is arguably one of the greatest scores the NHL has seen (678 goals), but his age has shown over the previous few seasons. Jagr was a member of the 1991 Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins team that defeated the Blackhawks in the finals. The Philadelphia Flyers have indicated interested in re-acquiring the winger and Jagr may be inclined to be traded there.

Although the Blackhawks can dream about adding many players, Stan Bowman wisely does not want to disrupt the great team chemistry the Hawks have right now. He would ideally want to make trades that only include giving up prospects and draft picks. It will be interesting to see what the Blackhawks do before the April 3 trading deadline.

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