The Chicago Blackhawks always go through a stretch of the season where things aren’t clicking. The offense struggles, the defensive pairings are getting mixed up and the goal-tending gets a tad inconsistent for many people’s liking.
When that perfect storm comes, it also comes with a very loud and vocal group of Chicago Blackhawks fans that like to lay the blame at the feet of one man: Corey Crawford.
For some reason Crawford is the scapegoat for any of the Blackhawks troubles. When the Blackhawks lose, it is all Crawford’s fault. Conversely, when the team wins, the credit finds it way to somebody else with Crawford being a member of the supporting cast.
Corey Crawford has a Stanley Cup ring on his goalie resume. He was a key reason, and some would argue the only reason, the Blackhawks were able to make that comeback against the Detroit Red Wings in the 2nd round of the 2013 playoffs.
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But back to 2015 and Crawford’s current campaign. Apart from an injury that kept him sidelined for a number of weeks, Corey Crawford has been lights out in the cage, ranking 7th and 8th in the league respectively in save percentage and goals against average.
It isn’t the first time Crawford’s name has been associated within the top-10 of goalies in the NHL. He has ranked in the top 10 of save percentage one other season and was in the top-10 three other times for goals against average.
Among active goalies, Crawford ranks 8th in save percentage and 5th in goals against average.
Yet the man they call Crow has continually been thrown unwarranted blame for the Blackhawks lackluster play.
As of late, the only reason the Blackhawks have been in games is because of Crawford. Since the loss of Patrick Kane for the rest of the regular season, the Blackhawks offense has dropped off a bit. Goals have been harder to come by and the defense hasn’t been the assured group it has the reputation of being (partly due to the wonky pairings that Coach Q throws out every night). With all of that, Crawford has helped the Blackhawks to an above .500 record in the absence of their best player and revitalized a push in the Central Division.
That push has quieted all the Crawford haters, making it appear as though everyone is behind the net-minder.
Corey Crawford has played a crucial role in the Blackhawks success in recent seasons. He is playing a crucial role at the moment, leading the charge for a better position come playoff time. The last month should be enough for the former haters to leave that bandwagon and begin to enjoy the goalie that they have in the pipes every night.
They have missed opportunities to enjoy a top-10 goaltender at work. Hopefully they get the chance to watch him now, before it’s too late.
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