Thursday night started out with a celebration of Eddie Belfour, but in the end the Chicago Blackhawks should be thanking their lucky stars they have Corey Crawford in between the pipes on most nights
The Chicago Blackhawks gave Eddie Belfour one last shift last night prior to a game against the Dallas Stars, and it was fitting that he skated right next to Corey Crawford for the national anthem. Belfour had a sensational career with the Blackhawks, with some of the best saves and best outbursts ever.
The thing is, when you look at the Chicago Blackhawks’ all-time goalie wins list, Belfour is looking up at the guy he skated next to last night.
Chicago Blackhawks’ all-time goaltender wins
The one thing about that list is when you look at it, there’s only one player on the list with two Stanley Cups and that’s the guy who current wears No. 50 in Crawford. Crawford may never win a Vezina Trophy, but at the end of the day with this team it’s all about team.
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Another list that Crawford did move up on with the Chicago Blackhawks though is 30 win seasons. The Chicago Blackhawks have had a long heritage of great goalies, but now Crawford is second on the list of most 30-win seasons in franchise history after he carried the Blackhawks to a 3-2 shootout triumph over the Stars.
Most 30-win seasons in Blackhawks history
- Tony Esposito-8 seasons
- Corey Crawford-6 Seasons
- Glenn Hall– 4 Seasons
- Ed Belfour-3 Seasons
- Jocelyn Thibault-1 Season
The question heading into the postseason isn’t how many regular-season wins Crawford will end up with this season — his career-high is 35, and the Blackhawks have just eight games remaining — but if he can carry this franchise to another Stanley Cup championship, which if you watched the team play the past month could be a real possibility come June.
Since Feb. 1, Crawford has posted 12 wins against just three losses with a .923 save percentage and 2.46 goals-against average. And while his even-strength save percentage has been pretty average in that stretch (.919), his save percentage when the Blackhawks are killing penalties has been a phenomenal .938.
So he’s basically reversing what happened in the early part of the season, when he stopped every even-strength shot in sight but couldn’t catch a break on the powerplay. No matter what he’s done this season, though, Crawford has gotten the team to some big wins.
The most under-appreciated guy on the team is Crawford, something a 42-save performance last night can attribute to. But hopefully by the end of June he will be known as a three-time Stanley Cup champion.