#2: Corey Crawford
Jan 11, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) makes a save on Minnesota Wild left wing Thomas Vanek (26) during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Over the past few off-seasons, all eyes have usually been on the goaltending of the Chicago Blackhawks. This didn’t seem to be the case this season, thanks to a big free-agent signing, and a pair of matching mammoth contracts to Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
No one seemed to benefit from this more than Corey Crawford.
As the Blackhawks got the 2014-15 season rolling, Crawford was quietly brilliant, with three wins and an overtime loss in his first four starts. As the team settled in, so did #50, and he has quietly been on his way to a career year, posting his best totals in both save percentage (.924%) and GAA (2.15) since the lockout-shortened 2012 season.
Crawford did run into injury trouble, missing three weeks at the beginning of September, but both Antti Raanta and Scott Darling held down the fort with brilliant outings of their own.
Crawford was criticized for a lagging return from injury, but the Blackhawks’ offense powered through, and Chicago kept on winning. In his last two outings, both wins against the Minnesota Wild, Crow posted 42 and 36-save performances, respectively.
Crawford’s 17 wins is 10th league-wide, while his save percentage is also ranked 10th. His goals-against-average is ranked fifth league-wide. With a team as good as the Blackhawks, Crawford is doing his job, and then some, and he is a direct reason why the Blackhawks have had so much success to this point.