Welcome to week three of Blackhawk Up’s 2013-14 Three Stars of the Week. As the title says, we will count down the top three performers in the Chicago Blackhawks’ lineup over the past seven days, as well as give some honorable mentions. These players don’t have to be the guys with the most points, or ice time, but the players that really stepped up their game, and made a positive impact.
The ‘Hawks had a 2-1-0 record in Week 3, winning a shootout decision against the Carolina Hurricanes, before losing to the St. Louis Blues in a shootout. They rebounded, however, beating the strong Toronto Maple Leafs at home on Saturday night.
Third Star: Corey Crawford
Corey Crawford is back in the Three Stars’ list for a second consecutive week to kick off the season. Although he isn’t getting as much attention as last year, Crawford is still playing strong, and it is his puck-stopping abilities that are keeping his team in the game. Stats-wise, Crawford is placing respectably with a .922% save percentage. Crawford’s 2.07 GAA is nearing last year’s numbers, and his fundamental play is much the same as the season previous. Side-to-side movement is significantly improved, and puck tracking is spot-on, as demonstrated in the image above. With the Blackhawks defense doing a great job at lessening the load, it allows Crawford to remain focused, and come up big when his team needs him. Now that Crawford has started strong, his focus shifts to maintaining that throughout the long season. If all goes well, the Blackhawks’ uniform might not be the only jersey we see him wear this winter.