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Chicago Blackhawks Corey Crawford Has Struggled Since His Return.

By Sean Fitzgerald

Jan 4, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) reacts to misplaying the puck during the overtime period against the Dallas Stars at the United Center. Chicago won 5-4 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhawks have been playing great hockey recently in spite of their goal tender Corey Crawford. Crawford is not the same goalie as he was before his second injury. Before the injury Crawford had a 1.87 goals against average and a .929 save percentage. Crawford was winning games while the Blackhawks offense was scuffling. Now the offense has kicked into gear and Crawford is struggling.  Since returning from injury Crawford has a 2.20 goals against average and .891 save percentage. The Blackhawks been playing catchup in games recently. They have trailed in their last five games after the first period.

Coach Joel Quenneville has stated that he has liked the way Crawford has been playing despite the poor numbers. The speculation is that Crawford might not be fully healed from his injury. He might also not be back mentally. Crawford nearly gave up the game winning goal last night with a horrible turnover but then recovered for the save.

Perhaps the Blackhawks should give Antti Raanta some more starts while Crawford continues to work his way back. Raanta is having a good year as the backup/fill in for Crawford. Raanta is 6-2-0 with a 1.73 goals against average and a .944 save percentage in nine appearances.

Raanta should get a start this coming week with back to back games Thursday and Friday. If Crawford continues to struggle, it might be time to rotate Raanta into games more often.

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