Blackhawks: 5 players who need to be great in the playoffs

By Ryan Fedrau
Corey Crawford #50, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Corey Crawford #50, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks
Corey Crawford #50, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Blackhawks will be playing playoff hockey again, as the NHL has canceled the rest of the regular season, going straight to a 24-team playoff. These players need to step up for the team to be successful.

Corey Crawford

The Chicago Blackhawks are going to need a lot out of Corey Crawford, as he’s going to be the team’s backbone during their playoff run. Crawford did not show up in the playoffs in 2017, it’s been something that hopefully has been eating away at him. He now has a chance to redeem himself.

He is a special player who has the chance to take the team very far. As long as Crawford plays well, the Blackhawks will be successful. The second Crawford starts to slow down is the second their Stanley Cup dreams will be crushed for another season.

The issue comes down to Crawford’s health. He has been healthy all season but can he go four rounds after the best-of-five play-in series? If the answer is yes, the Blackhawks will be fine. If the answer is no, this could be a very long, painful exit, the same way 2017 was.

Despite having a losing record in 2020, I give Crawford credit. He went on a nice roll after Robin Lehner was traded. He’s 5-2 since then, with a .934 save percentage.

If Crawford can get back on a hot streak when the playoffs start, which is still unknown, the team is in good hands. That 16-20-3 record does bother me though. It’s something that isn’t great at all, along with the team not playing as well, until Lehner was traded, with Crawford in net.