Corey Crawford Joins Chicago Blackhawks Elite

By Sean Fitzgerald

Mar 23, 2015; Raleigh, NC, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) reaches down to make a save against the Carolina Hurricanes during the 2nd period at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

When the Blackhawks drafted Corey Crawford, did they honestly think they were drafting one of the best goalies in their franchise history?? Crawford joined some Elite company with the Blackhawks tonight. Crawford recorded his 30th win of the season. He is now the third goalie in Blackhawks Franchise history that has recorded 30 or more wins in four different seasons. Crawford joined Glen Hall and Tony Esposito as the only other two goalies in the history of the Blackhawks franchise to win 30 games in four different seasons.

Hall and Esposito are the gold standard for Blakchakws goalies but just  how good were they?  If you have visited the United Center, you can see Glenn Hall’s number retired number one hanging from the rafters. Hall was one of  the Blackhawks franchise best goalies. Hall who played with the Blackhawks from 1957 to 1966, won 30 games three times with the Blackhawks. In just before joining  the Blackhawks Hall won 38 games with the Detroit Red Wings. Hall best win total with the Blackhawks was 34 wins which he did twice with the Blackhawks,. His 34 wins is good for 6th best in franchise history. Only Tony Esposito and Ed Belfour have better single season win totals. Hall for his career 407-326-163 in 906 NHL games over his 18 year career. Hall was the Stanley Cup Winning goalie for the Blackhawks in 1960-61 and has two Vezina trophies.

Hall was the gold standard for goalies with the Blackhawks until Tony Esposito arrived. Esposito or Tony “O” arrived with the Blackhawks in 1969. In 1969, Esposito won 38 games, recorded 15 shutouts and won the Calder Trophy.  His 38 wins in a season is good for third all time in the history of the Blackhawks. Esposito won 30 games or more eights times during his tenure with the Blackhawks. Esposito went 418-302 in 873 career NHL games. He had a goals against average of 2.93 for his career.  Esposito’s number hangs along with Halls in the United Center rafters.  Not to be outdone by Hall, Esposito has also has two Veznia trophies to his name.

Hopefully that gives people some perspective on how special Crawford has been with the Blackhawks. Before people start finding reasons to knock Crawford, think about the goalies that have come before him. They should think about the goalies that came in between Esposito and Crawford.  Blackhawks maybe can reference Ed Belfour as a good Blackhawks goalie but Belfour only played with the Blackhawks 1988-96. Beflour won 30 games or more with the Blackhawks only twice before being traded away.  Crawford for his career with the Hawks is 144-74 and with a .916 save percentage and a 2.33 goals against average. Crawford needs just three more wins this season to tie his career high, which is good for 10th best in Blackhawks.

Congratulations Corey Crawford on another impressive season.