The Biggest Obstacle in 2013

By Keith Schultz

April 14, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) looks on during the national anthem before game two of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals against the Phoenix Coyotes at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the CBA should be voted and signed by Wednesday (yes fingers are still crossed) when looking ahead to the 2013 shortened season there is a lot to look forward to and there are still some serious question marks  with our Chicago Blackhawks.

The biggest question mark has to be Corey Crawford and Ray Emery between the pipes. Crawford should be starting the season as the #1 goalie which seems to be one of the most worrisome positions on the ice.  If you want to see our 2011-2012 report card on Crawford click here.

It will be a big deal for Crawford to start out on the right foot when play resumes.  He had a very solid rookie season with .917 save percent but it dropped to .903 last season. In the 2012 playoffs his save percent fell to .893 which is not acceptable.  It seemed like Crawford had a combination of bad defense in front of him at the beginning of the season and a mr inconsistency the 2nd half of the season.

Crawford ended the season by giving up two of the worst overtime goals of all-time, but when looking back at those games if it wasn’t for Crawford’s performance in the third periods of those contest the Blackhawks wouldn’t have even come close to getting into overtime.

So as with most inconsistent players there are a lot of questions with the brink of a new season just around the corner.  Can Crawford regain the form of 2010-2011 or will he just be a bust and turning into the next Cristabol Huet?  There will be many obstacles for the Hawks being able to return back to Stanley Cup form, but if you ask me Crawford and the play of the goalies wearing the Blackhawks uniform will be the biggest obastacle of all to being able to hoist another Stanley Cup.  The Hawks offense can put goals on the board, but they need good and consistent between the pipes to make a deep playoff run.

Crawford doesn’t have to be turn into Quick, but he needs to be solid on a nightly basis.

What do you think? Can Crawford be a true #1 this season?

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