Mar 12, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Coyotes center Tobias Rieder (8) scores on Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) during the first period at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Since 2010-2011 when Corey Crawford became the regular starting goalie for the Chicago Blackhawks replacing the recently departing Antti Neimi there was one goal for him each night in net and that was to stop all the pucks he was suppose to stop that night. That was then and this is now and the mission for Corey Crawford is to carry the team far enough in the playoffs to get Patrick Kane back into the lineup.
During his first full season as a starter Crawford was up to the task and fought hard between the pipes and even when the Blackhawks were down 3-0 to the Vancouver Canucks he never let in those soft goals.
It was a different story in the 2012 playoffs when he let in a couple of the softest goals ever to seal the Chicago Blackhawks fate against the Phoenix Coyotes in the first round of the playoffs, but to Crawford’s credit he didn’t quit or give up and the following season during the lockout shortened 2013 he was part of a Stanley Cup Champion. He was paid like a Cup Champion Goalie but he’s never totally won over all Blackhawks fans because some don’t see him as an elite goalie just a guy that needs to stop all the pucks he needs to which frustrates some fans.
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The funny thing about those that hate on Crawford is he’s 3 wins short of 30 on the season and this would be his fourth 30 win season. Only Glenn Hall and Tony Esposito have ever recorded four seasons of 30 or more wins in a Blackhawks uniform all-time which says a lot about the consistency of Crawford since the fall of 2010.
Now it’s 2015 and the Chicago Blackhawks are missing their offensive wizard Patrick Kane and although the Hawks have collected 11 out of 14 points without Kane in the lineup it’s going to be tough sledding with what appears to be a slumping offensive unit by the Blackhawks.
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Which means it’s Corey Crawford time!! It’s time for Crawford to earn his huge contract he secured after winning the Stanley Cup and his play the past week looks like he’s capable of the task. Crawford really carried the Hawks in October and November picking up valuable points when the offense couldn’t score early on in the season. As we all know his season took a wrong step and it sidelined him and he was pretty average after rushing back to get into the lineup. His play though since the trade deadline has been back up to his early season standards and really has helped the Chicago Blackhawks stay in the Central race.
Crawford will have to be spectacular to get to Kane but he’s shown the potential to pull such a feat off and then he can join a club all by himself in Chicago Blackhawks history as a 2 time Stanley Cup goalie wearing the Blackhawks uniform.
What do you think? Can Corey Carry the Blackhawks all the way?
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