Blackhawks News

STATS Game: Rest Corey Crawford

By Jeffrey Bartl

What’s the best thing about Corey Crawford starting every game for the past month? The meatballs haven’t been able to voice their blind hatred for Marty Turco.

OK, OK … it’s not the best thing. Crawford’s 10-2-3 record and 2.66 goals-against average takes that title. But despite those numbers, I’m still going to lobby for him to don the baseball cap Thursday in Dallas.

Here’s part of the reason why:

These are Crawford’s stats over his last four games. Nothing to start getting nuts about. I’m sure Coach Q believes Crawford got enough rest in those two periods after giving up three goals on eight shots against Florida in the first 20 minutes. It just hasn’t been enough.

Crawford is not Ryan Miller. He can’t be trolled out there 20 straight nights. You can tell Crawford is tired, giving up some juicy rebounds and at times not going post-to-post quick enough. Aside from that, Crawford will be starting five of six on the road, which includes a pair of back-to-back nights.

Aside from that, it’s not as if Crawford has to be Ryan Miller. There’s a serviceable backup in Turco, where as Miller is basically on his own in Buffalo. With 12 games remaining, earning two points is completely and utterly necessary given the tight Western Conference standings. Why put a tired goaltender who has lost three of four on the ice when a well-rested, suitable replacement is ready to go?

A regulation loss to Dallas would put the Blackhawks back into a tie with the Stars. A regulation victory provides a nice four-point cushion. There’s no reason to start screwing around and praying the Blackhawks offense simply outscores Dallas in some 6-5 up-and-down game.

Turco’s last start was Feb. 11 – the Debacle in Dallas – in which the Blackhawks took a 3-0 lead, squandered it with little-to-no fault of Turco, then lost in a shootout. Bitch all you want about Turco not making a stop in the farting contest. The game shouldn’t have gone that far in the first place.

Turco made 32 saves that night, facing 17 shots in the second period which helped result in two unassisted goals for the Stars. He played well against Dallas, meaning this seems to be the best time to give him the nod and Crawford a night off.

This is all just one short blonde guy’s opinion. But with every point being so damn important – especially the deuce at stake Thursday – I see no reason for Crawford to play his 16th straight game.

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