Last week I looked at three Blackhawk Olympians that could use a 3 week break, today I’m looking at 3 Blackhawks that will benefit the most from a 3 week vacation. Again like the last post playing for country in the Olympics has to be one of the coolest things you could ever do, but as a Blackhawks fan the only thing I’m looking forward to is a long run in the Stanley Cup playoffs! So that being said here is my list of Hawks that should be excited about the break.
3. Corey Crawford
Crawford was the one player that was boarderline Olympian at the beginning of the season that injuries probably eliminated him from the Olympics off of the Blackhawks roster. One thing that benefitted Crawford going into the playoffs last season was that Joel Quenneville was able to give him a lot of nights off during the regular season because of the play of Ray Emery. This season started out totally different with Nikolai Khabibulin getting injured at the start and Quenneville riding Crawford until he had to leave due to injury. Antti Raanta has been very good (if you throw out his last outing) but Quenneville is a veteran guy and is back to leaning heavily on Crawford.
Crawford has started 68 games since the lockout and 23 playoff tilts. His groin injury may have been a blessing in disguise since it took him off Team Canada and now gets a 3 week vacation in February before a 25 game sprint to the finish line in March and April when you know that Coach Q will be playing Crawford almost exclusively.
Crawford never has to be a wall during the playoffs, but he has to be playing good for the Hawks to go far in the playoffs so his 3 week vacation can go a long way to the Hawks playoffs dreams and aspirations!