Apr 25, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalieCorey Crawford
(50) replaces goalieScott Darling
(33) in the first period in game six of the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
#2 – Give Crow a Break
If there are any Corey Crawford doubters still in Chicago, they’re all but extinct. In fact, it may be safe to say Crawford’s play between the pipes this season has been one source of consistency that the disorganized team in front of him has been able to use as an anchor.
However, the number of games Crow has been suiting up for is a growing cause for concern. As of this post, Crawford has started nine straight games, including back to back outings. Backup Scott Darling hasn’t seen the ice since allowing five goals against the Nashville Predators, so needless to say in he’s in Coach Joel Quenneville’s infamous doghouse.
What’s worrying about this present situation is how eerily similar it is to 2014. During that season, like this one, Coach Q didn’t have a lot of faith in then-backup goalie Antti Raanta, and therefore started Crawford liberally. Crow is a vital resource for the ‘Hawks, but like a resource, he can be depleted; physically and mentally.
This is exactly what happened in 2014. After putting together a solid regular season and two playoff rounds, Crawford finally came unraveled under the exceptionally high demands put upon him, and at the worst possible time: the Western Conference Finals. You know the rest…
This is a mistake that can’t be repeated. We know Darling can stand and deliver, so he certainly deserves a chance to redeem himself after a bad game, and Crawford more than deserves a breather once and while.