Today the Chicago Blackhawks recalled Antti Raanta from the Rockford IceHogs. The Raanta recall combined with Nikolai Khabibulin getting the start versus the Washington Capitals tonight started a panic. The speculation/panic was about Corey Crawford. Crawford was supposed to start tonight against the Capitals. With that being said people including myself thought Crawford was seriously injured. Why would they re-call Raanta if Crawford was not seriously injured?
Coach Quenneville put an end to the panic/speculation related to Crawford. He announced Crawford will not start tonight because of stiffness. He will play on Tuesday in the season opener.
We all forget that Crawford is a very durable guy. Since taking over as the Blackhawks starting goal tender, he has played in 57 games in 2010-11, 2011-12 57 games and 30 games last season. Crawford played in 70% of the games in 2010-11& 2011-12. He played in 63% of the games last regular season. He started every game in the Stanley Cup playoffs. That is 100 % of Stanley Cup playoff games last season, in case people were wondering.
If people would like a comparison on Crawford’s percentage of games played. We can look an elite goal tender in Jonathan Quick. Quick started 74 % in 2010-11, 84% in 2011-12, and 77% of the games last season. Crawford is not in Quick’s league in terms of skills, but as you can see their numbers were similar in terms of percentage of starts during the regular season.
Last season, due to the condensed schedule Crawford and Ray Emery split time. Emery’ s play last season earned him more time than most backup goalies.
Onto the important questions with Crawford, should we worry about the long term health of Corey Crawford? The answer is no. Crawford will be fine this season and will start the season. He should start 70% of the games this season like he has in the past.
Everyone can let out a sigh of relief! Crawford is fine and will be ready to start the season on Tuesday.