Jan 6, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) deflects a shot by Colorado Avalanche during the third period of an NHL game at United Center. The Avalanche won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Let’s start this with I’m not a Crawford basher period. I think he earned the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2013 and I really believe if there was a first quarter MVP this season it was Corey Crawford by a landslide. The problem is that we live in the present and not in the past.
The great play ended on that fateful night at a rock concert when a misstep turned Crawford’s season in the wrong direction. Crawford was stellar before the injury when the Blackhawks offense was struggling he had a .929 save percentage which at the time was good for third in the NHL behind Pekka Rinne and Brian Elliott. Crawford was great and Joel Quenneville as only Quenneville can and will do road him night in and night out until he decided to misstep at the Rise Against The Machine.
Now the only thing Rising is the backlash from Blackhawks fans who have seen their #1 goalie turn into well a shell of himself or the guy who suffered through a sophomore slump in 2011-2012. Crawford looks out of position, slow moving side to side and giving up big rebounds and the worst of times well and of course there was this play the other night.
The other problem is he’s not entering the game sharp. He’s giving up way too many first period goals which some can be contributed to the defense likeJohnny Oduya
last night who was still looking like he was taking a pre-game nap in the first 5 minutes of the game against the Avalanche, but he has to stop these shots especially the 2nd goal last night that put a silencer on the great United Center crowd.
Crawford since returning from injury has a .890 save percentage and has given up first period goals in every game which has contributed to the Blackhawks slow starts in games which is becoming the norm not the exception. The Hawks will fight for 60 minutes just like last night, but when the pucks aren’t going in Crawford needs to be the one stopping their best chances not going to the water bottle after letting another one in the back of the net.
I’m not saying bring up Scott Darling and put Crawford on a phantom I.R. stint, he just needs to watch from the bench and practice and let Antti Raanta take some action for a few games. In this season it’s not like Raanta or Darling have been a downgrade and in the end the Hawks need Crawford sharp and ready to go in April, May, and June so now is the time to give Crawford a few days off which will run into a four day break next week to get healthy and right. Crawford is our #1 goalie and we need him to get right soon.
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What do you think? Is it time for Crawford to take a short break to get things right?
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