Chicago Blackhawks greatest 100 list has finally reached the halfway point at #50! As much fun as I have doing these lists during the summer I would much rather be talking about games during the season.
At #50 I have Corey Crawford the current #50 for the Chicago Blackhawks. I think it’s safe to say he’s underrated and underappreciated by the NHL.
Crawford was the 52nd player taken in the 2003 draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, and let’s be honest it took Crawford a long time to make it to the NHL and even longer to become a regular starter with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Crawford did record a shutout in his first NHL win back in 2008, but he was in Rockford when the Chicago Blackhawks had Antti Niemi and Cristobal Huet as their starting goalies during the great 2010 season that ended in a Stanley Cup.
When the 2011 season began both those goalie were gone and Crawford became the full-time starter and he became a very consistent starter recording the first of 6 seasons with 30 or more victories. In fact the only season Crawford didn’t record 30 wins was the strike shortened season when he won 19 and shared the Jennings trophy with Ray Emery.
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In 2011, Crawford did show us the one trait that I believe is his greatest which is the ability to shake off a bad performance with a very good one the next night. The 2011 playoffs was only 7 games, but the Hawks came back from down 3-0 to force a Game #7 to overtime on the road.
Of course, the Chicago Blackhawks won the 2013 Stanley Cup behind Crawford who had his ups and downs in the Final, but he was able to hoist the Stanley Cup after the greatest 17 seconds ever. In my opinion, Crawford could have been the Conn Smythe winner for the 2013 playoffs.
There is some controversy with Crawford and how something always comes up to ruin Vezina worthy seasons. One year he missed a month of games because he misstepped at a concert. Last year it was an emergency appendectomy that took him out for sometime. Crawford can be a great goalie and shows that for stretches during the regular season, but also can have some bad stretches.
One of those bad stretches was in the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs when he had to be benched after giving up 3 goals in the first period of the first game. Like true Crawford, he was able to bounce back after getting back into the lineup in Game #6 of the playoffs.
Crawford is a 2 time Stanley Cup champion, and he’s still underrated this year without getting named in the Top 10 goalies by NHL Network.
It doesn’t matter to me. He’s our goalie and he’s #50 all-time on my list of greatest 100 Chicago Blackhawks.