Editorials

Chicago Blackhawks: 5 Reasons For Optimism In 2016-17

By Gail Kauchak
Apr 15, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) celebrates with Patrick Kane (88) and Artem Anisimov (15) after scoring the game-winning goal during the third period in game two of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center. The Blackhawks won the game 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 15, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) celebrates with Patrick Kane (88) and Artem Anisimov (15) after scoring the game-winning goal during the third period in game two of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center. The Blackhawks won the game 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports /
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Apr 17, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) makes a save on a shot from St. Louis Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson (4) during the second period in game three of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

3.  Clearly Crawford.

Not everyone will agree with me here, but if that’s the case, you are wrong! Goaltender Corey Crawford is a huge positive for these Chicago Blackhawks.

He’s a workhorse, having started in 58 regular-season games last year. He boasted a .924 save percentage, which was within the top 10 in the league. He ranked 19th in the league in goals against, with an average of 2.37.

But considering the defense he had in front of him, that’s not too shabby.  Crow seemed to really hit his stride toward the end of the season. The ’Hawks had to rely on him to make big saves time and again. He often kept the team in games as they struggled to score.

At 31 years of age, Crawford has grown and matured over the last six seasons with the ’Hawks.  He has had to overcome many obstacles; and he has two Stanley Cups under his belt. I have faith that he is primed to have another spectacular year.

Next: Reason No. 4: On The Core

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