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Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks 2017-18 Defense, Goaltending Midseason Grades

rholndoner
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 17: Brent Seabrook
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 17: Brent Seabrook /
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CHICAGO, IL – JANUARY 07: Anton Forsberg
CHICAGO, IL – JANUARY 07: Anton Forsberg /

Goaltenders: B

Only five teams in the league face more shots per game than the Blackhawks.  That puts a lot more work on the shoulders of the goaltenders.  As a whole, the Blackhawks could be in a worse place.

Unfortunately, they need to have more help other than Crawford to bail them out.  Forsberg and Jeff Glass, have both come up with some huge saves.  But with the team they have in front of them, they will have to get better really quickly.

Corey Crawford: A+ (28 games, 16-9-2, 2.27 .GAA, .929 SV%)

Crawford has been arguably the best player on this team and constantly has given the Blackhawks a chance to win.  He’s come up with numerous saves that have allowed this team to stay in games and grab much-needed points.

If it were not for injury, he would be not just top 10 in goals-allowed average and save percentage, but in wins as well.  Constantly overlooked as one of the top goalies in the league, Crawford always gives this team a chance to win every night.

Anton Forsberg: C (9 games, 1-5-3, 3.33 .GAA, .902 SV%)

Forsberg was a key part, along with Brandon Saad, in the trade that sent Artemi Panarin to the Columbus Blue Jackets.  He’s been what a backup goalie should be, but there have been goals he has given up that led to game-winning goals against.

His record does not give him credit for the work he has done between the pipes, but he is still young, 25.  He is signed through next year and, with time, will improve to be a better goalie.  This team will need him sooner than later.

Jeff Glass: C- (4 games, 2-1-1, 3.51 .GAA, .908 SV%)

Cinderella story out of nowhere, Glass has been having one hell of a week since his call-up due to Crawford going to injured reserve.  He’s played some good games, but has been out of position quite a few times.

With the amount of shots the Blackhawks give up, Glass will have to bring his “A” game every night.  He’s trying like hell, and you can tell the team is trying like hell in front of him to clear loose pucks in front of ht net.

Next: 5 Thoughts From 3-1 Win Over Edmonton

The Blackhawks must go on a run to get themselves back into playoff contention.  It starts at the back end and works its way up.  Goaltending and defense will have to step up their game.

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