May 18, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) during the third period in game one of the Western Conference Final of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center. Chicago Blackhawks defeats the Los Angeles Kings 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
1. Corey Crawford: Crawford might be the ultimate difference maker for the Blackhawks. When Crawford was good for the Blackhawks in the playoffs The Blackhawks won. When he wasn’t good the Blackhawks were bad and lost to the Kings even if the OT goal was a fluke. Crawford during the record season is 115-59 with a .914 save percentage and 2.36 goals against average. In the playoffs, Crawford numbers are 32-23 with .920 save percentage and 2.21 goals against average. In case people forgot Crawford also won a Stanley Cup Championship and should have won the Conn Smythe.
When Crawford was injured last season, Antti Raanta stepped in and played well for the Blackhawks. Raanta went 13-5 with a .897 save percentage with 2.71 goals average. Losing Crawford would be CRUSHING for the Blackhawks because they don’t have the depth after Raanta. IF Crawford got hurt and Raanta was forced to start until Crawford returned, who replaces Raanta as the backup. Kent Simpson has one season at Rockford where he appeared in 31 games with a 3.64 goals against average. Mac Carruth only appeared in 7 games with Rockford last season and allowed 3.36 goals against average.
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It’s simple the Blackhawks can ill afford to lose these players especially Crawford! Now I am going to kiss my lucky Shamrock and remove the hex I just put on these three players.
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