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Chicago Blackhawks Progress Report-Goalie Grades.

By Sean Fitzgerald
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Nov 23, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford (50) makes a save against a shot by the Vancouver Canucks during the first period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks are at the quarter mark of the season with 21 games under their belt. The Hawks are currently standing with a record of 12-8-1 with a few more defeats than expected. Here is a quick look at the goalies and their play in the first quarter of the season.

Corey Crawford: 9-5-1 /Save percentage: .926 / Goals Against average: 1.98

Crawford has been very good for the Blackhawks this season. His GAA 1.98 is the second best of his career and his save percentage is tied for his career best. Both of his career highs were posted during the lockout shortened year of 2012-13. His record is not reflective of his PLAY this season. Now the knock on Crawford has been that he is not an elite goal tender. This season Crawford has played like an elite goal tender. He has appeared in 11 straights games and helped the Blackhawks STEAL several points this season. The season opener against the Dallas Stars is the prime example of a game where Crawford helped the Blackhawks STEAL two points. The knock on Crawford this season would be that he suffered an upper body injury that forced him to miss several games.

Grade-A

Antti Raanta: 1-2-0 /Save percentage: .933 / Goals Against Average: 2.03

Anttie Raanta was brought back in the offseason to be Crawford’s back up. Thus far this season Raanta has appeared 3 games. He has put up better numbers than he did last season but his sample size is VERY small. Raanta was supposed to start against Edmonton on the Circus trip but is battling an illness. Raanta has played so little at the NHL level that the Blackhawks sent him to the AHL for a start. He has 33 saves and allowed 2 goals in his loneRockford start. Raanta needs to get “healthy” so Crawford can a nice off here and there.

GRADE- B-

Scott Darling: NHL 2-1-0/Save Percentage: .933/Goals Against Average: 1.98

AHL Stats: 7-2-0/ Save Percentage: .917/ Goals Against Average: 1.97

Scott Darling was signed by the Blackhawks organization to provide depth at the AHL and ECHL level. Darling impressed the Blackhawks so much during training camp that the organization traded Kent Simpson to the New York Islanders in the Nick Leddy deal. An injury to Crawford allowed Darling to fulfill his dream of playing goalie for the Chicago Blackhawks. In two of his three starts Darling was a tall/huge presence in the Blackhawks net. He won his first two starts before struggling in his third and final start. Darling was a career journeymen goalie before joining the Blackhawks. Once viewed as a position of organizational weakness is now a position of strength. No one thought Darling would ever play at the NHL level, that is why his grade is very high.

Grade-A

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