Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks’ Corey Crawford: A Post-Lockout Stat Glance

By Colin Likas
Mar 12, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) makes a save during the third period against the Minnesota Wild at the United Center. Chicago won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 12, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) makes a save during the third period against the Minnesota Wild at the United Center. Chicago won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Going into the regular-season numbers

This batch of statistics I’m about to toss at you is charted from Jan. 19, 2013 — the first day of a lockout-shortened 2013 season — up until today.

Let’s start easy. Twenty-one goaltenders have recorded at least 100 regular-season wins in that timeframe, with Crow’s 145 victories fifth among that group (Braden Holtby leads at 169). No doubt Crow would have more wins if he wasn’t getting injured here and there.

Of course, he has more impressive numbers to back up those wins. Among those netminders with 100 or more wins in that time, Crow’s .922 save percentage across all situations is tied for second-best (behind Price’s .925; tied with Rask and Sergei Bobrovsky).

His 2.30 goals-against average ranks sixth among that group as well (a 2.23 mark shared by Price, Jonathan Quick and Brian Elliott leads). Would Blackhawks fans rather have Quick or Elliott in net? I highly doubt it.

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  • Crow has achieved this across the regular season since Jan. 19, 2013, while facing an average of 28.4 shots on goal per game, a mark about on par with that of these surrounding goalies, but still a solid number of shots.

    Deeper regular-season look

    Let’s get into more-specific regular-season numbers. Some even-strength ones, first: Crow has made the fifth-most even-strength saves in the league since the start of the latest lockout-shortened season with 5,484.

    Those ahead of him are Rask (6,111), Henrik Lundqvist (6,020), Holtby (5,952) and Semyon Varlamov (5,503). Three of those guys have played noticeably more regular-season games in that timeframe than Crow’s 249, with Rask, Lundqvist and Holtby all boasting at least 19 more games played (Varlamov has the bad luck of playing for Colorado, which inflates his stats).

    And guess who has the best even-strength save percentage of all those guys? That would be Crow at .931, a mark only surpassed by Price (.935) among the top-20 goaltenders in even-strength saves since Jan. 19, 2013.

    During that same time, Crow’s save percentage while his team is on the penalty kill is .872, comparable to guys like Rask (.874) and Holtby (.873) and better than guys like Price (.871), Roberto Luongo (.871), Quick (.866) and Lundqvist (.862).

    On to the Stanley Cup Playoffs

    But maybe regular-season stats aren’t your thing. We can go to Stanley Cup Playoffs stats as well and still find Crow as a very successful netminder. In fact, the most-successful netminder.

    Crow’s 43 postseason wins since the start of the 2013 season are by far most in the league (Lundqvist is second at 30). Crow has done that while leading the league in postseason shot attempts faced (2,085, only goalie above 1,900) and postseason minutes on ice (4,408 minutes and change, only goalie about 3,650 minutes).

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    Among the 13 goaltenders with 10 or more postseason wins in this timeframe, Crow’s .921 save percentage across all situations ranks seventh. It may not sound impressive, but consider that’s over 69 games versus 36 for Ben Bishop (.927), 34 for Rask (.936), 32 for Holtby (.939), 26 for Martin Jones (.923) and 21 for Matt Murray (.923). Only Lundqvist’s .925 mark in 61 postseason games is really comparable.

    Of course, you can break down Crow’s .921 mark in the postseason since Jan. 19, 2013, and find even more impressive data.

    His .924 even-strength save percentage is only better than three of the other goaltenders with 10 more postseason wins in this timeframe, but Crow is also just one of three of these 13 netminders with 10-plus postseason victories to face in excess of 1,000 even-strength shots in that time — and his 1,613 total in that department dwarfs even third-place Rask’s 1,055.

    Crow’s .901 save percentage on the penalty kill is tied for second among the 13 goaltenders with 10 or more postseason wins (Holtby boasts an obscene .944 in this category). Crow’s .964 mark while his team is at least one man up ranks third (behind tied perfect marks from Holtby and, of all people, Niemi).

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