Blackhawks: Crawford Most Under-appreciated Goalie of 2010s

By Ryan Fedrau
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 18: Corey Crawford attends Chicago's Celebratory Parade & Rally Honoring The 2015 Stanley Cup Champions, The Chicago Blackhawks on June 18, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Timothy Hiatt/WireImage)
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 18: Corey Crawford attends Chicago's Celebratory Parade & Rally Honoring The 2015 Stanley Cup Champions, The Chicago Blackhawks on June 18, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Timothy Hiatt/WireImage) /
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2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

In 2015, Corey Crawford won his second Stanley Cup. During the year, he did have some struggles. He would rely on Scott Darling to help him out during the season. This would be Crawford’s second season as a Jennings trophy winner. The first time he won it, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. As we all know now, he would do the same thing in 2015.

In the playoffs, Darling took over in Game 1 of the very first round after Crawford gave up three goals. The team went down 3-0, but would come back and win the game 4-3, after an impressive relief appearance from Darling.

Like all good stories end, Corey Crawford would end up winning the starting job back from Darling a few games later. Crawford needed that wake-up call. He changed as a goalie after that. Instead of his confidence being derailed, he prevailed and became a better player.

The 2013 Crawford that won the Stanley Cup was back in playoff form. The Blackhawks went through the Predators in six games, swept the Wild, and would face the Ducks in the Western Conference Finals.

In the series against the Ducks, the team faced a lot of adversity. There were games they should have won, but wound up losing. Before Games 6 and 7, there were shots that Crawford could have saved that went in.

The Chicago Blackhawks pulled off a full-180 switch and came back from being down 3-2 in the series. That comeback set them up for another Stanley Cup chance. For some reason, the Blackhawks were supposed to lose that series but instead, won a hard-fought series that will go down as one of the best in franchise history.

The two-headed monster in Tampa Bay was supposed to destroy the Chicago Blackhawks. Ben Bishop and Andrei Vasilevskiy were going to beat Crawford. The difference between those two and Crawford is his composure and clutch factor when the team needs him the most.

The team would go down 2-1 in the series, just like in the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals. The experience from being in that situation helped Crawford shine. He became unstoppable again and the team won three straight games.

In Game 6, where they won the Stanley Cup, Crawford had a shutout to clinch the series. That was a perfect ending to a playoff run in which he started slow.

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