There is a difference between a bad play and a bad game, but it seems like a lot of fans are having trouble separating the two. Once again we find Corey Crawford in the spotlight of some controversy, and the fans are firmly planted on either side. I say Crawford had a fairly strong series so far, but he has let up two soft goals out of six. Like the Cal Clutterbuck goal in the first game, Crow leaves the short side wide open. He wasn’t terribly out of position, and it still took a hell of a shot, but he was, in fact, out of position. That doesn’t mean he played poorly, because he did hold the Hawks afloat during a game in which we were vastly outplayed.
If we are honest with ourselves as fans, then we know that in a team sport a lot of events make a play, and that shot should have never even made it to Crow. You can blame Viktor Stalberg for not putting on more pressure, or Johnny Oduya for not keeping both hands on his stick when playing that puck; blame can be given to a lot of people. The Hawks didn’t seem to respond well at all to the pressure the Wild brought throughout the entire 62:15 of game three. The team as a whole will need to work better as a single unit to prevent the unnecessary icings and the missed coverage that has been an issue throughout the series. The PK has been perfect, but the PP remains a sore spot on the Hawks resume. The Hawks need to keep their game simple. You can’t always skate your way through the Wild. They’ll need to stick with the dump and chase and take advantage of their depth. The Wild are relying heavily on their top line and top D pairing, so the Hawks must grind them down to really make them feel their minutes. Again, these are elements relating to the team as a whole and not based on any one individual.
No matter who you want to blame for a loss, or more specifically a goal, there are just so many things that happen in each play that it’s nearly impossible to find fault with any one player. At the same time, we are all human, and it’s natural to point a finger. Crow let up a softy in overtime. It’s not personal, but it’s a fact. That doesn’t take away from the 30 other good saves that he made, and that doesn’t mean he played bad. Let’s try not to kill each other over what happened in that game. Instead let’s just enjoy the variety of perspectives among the fans of a game we all love.
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