Analysis

NHL All-Star Game’s Central Division Goalies Stink In L.A.

By Sean Fitzgerald
Jan 29, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Central Division goaltender Corey Crawford (50) of the Chicago Blackhawks and defenseman P.K. Subban (76) of the Nashville Predators defend the net during the 2017 NHL All Star Game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 29, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Central Division goaltender Corey Crawford (50) of the Chicago Blackhawks and defenseman P.K. Subban (76) of the Nashville Predators defend the net during the 2017 NHL All Star Game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Central Division didn’t stand much of a chance in the NHL All-Star Game, partly because of porous goaltending

The Chicago Blackhawks were represented by Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Corey Crawford at the NHL All-Star Game, which is currently ongoing in Los Angeles.

Toews, Kane and Keith were honored as being named as a part of the NHL’s Top 100 players. Crawford would take center stage in the All-Star Game by drawing the starting nod for the Central Division over Minnesota’s Devan Dubnyk.

This was Crawford’s first All-Star Game appearance. While many believed that Crawford should have been an All-Star last season. This year Crawford was rewarded for a strong start to his year.

Crawford, Dubnyk both fare poorly

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Crawford was given the start over Dubnyk, who has been the best goalie in the NHL this season and boasted the NHL’s best save percentage coming in.

After being booed during introductions, the booing should have continued as Crawford allowed five goals in the first 10 minutes of play. He allowed two goals in the first 42 seconds.

In this format of the All-Star Game, goals are supposed to be scored. It is supposed to be an up and down scoring game, but Crawford was letting up goals like it was his job.

In his defense, the Pacific Team had the best roster in the tournament. They also had the best winning percentage in OT this year. It is also tough to shut down the best team in the tournament.

Now this shouldn’t that alarming since it is the All-Star Game, but Crawford has been struggling recently. Before the All-Star Game, Crawford went 2-3 in his last five games.

In his two wins, his save percentage was .929 and .826. In his three losses, his save percentages were .886, .906 and .833. The numbers tell the story: Crawford has struggled recently. Since coming back from his appendectomy, he has gone 6-5-1 in his 12 starts.

Jan 26, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild goalie
Jan 26, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild goalie /

Crawford was pulled for Dubynk at the 10-minute mark. Dubnyk has the NHL’s best save percentage at .936  and best goals-against average at 1.88. He had won four of his last five starts .

His save percentages were .960, .946, .897 and .870. In his lone loss, his save percentage was .846.

Dubnyk would come in and make four great saves on four A-plus chances. That would be the only success for the Central Division goalies. Dubnyk would be overwhelmed by the Pacific Team, too, and allowed five goals himself.

For the game, the Central Division goalies allowed 10 goals. The final score was 10-3 in favor of the defending champion Pacific Division. The Central Division goals were scored by Toews, P. K. Subban and Vladimir Tarasenko.

Next: Blackhawks, NHL 3 Stars Sad For Chicago

The broadcasters stated that the Central Division team looked disinterested, and I would have to agree based on the score.

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