Corey Crawford: Vezina Trophy candidate?
The thought was certainly already something that was possible heading into the Chicago Blackhawks‘ Sunday evening tilt with the division rival Nashville Predators. But Crawford ending a streak that has stood for almost two years helped to add a little fuel to that fire.
After 630 days of failing to record a goose egg on the stat sheet, Crawford finally posted that elusive shutout against the Preds in Nashville. Of course, his teammates made it an extremely lax night for Crawford in most of this one, which saw the Hawks cruise to a 3-0 victory.
Crawford needed to stop just 17 shots to get the win. At the end of the second period, the Predators only had eight. This was a contest dominated by the Blackhawks, as many of their games have been recently. Which has made life very nice for both of their goaltenders.
Obviously the shutout streak isn’t as much of a concern if the team is winning. But given Crawford’s struggles last year, this streak was made out to be a lot more important than it probably was. The fact that the Hawks are now 10-0-2, and that was their first shutout tells you that the need for a shutout was a bit overhyped.
Nonetheless, this was a monkey that Crawford needed to get off of his back. He’s been absolutely fantastic this year, having allowed more than two goals in only one game this season. There’s no doubt that he deserved a shutout, and his teammates helped him notch one.
Crawford now leads the league in wins and has some of the best numbers in the league, even before putting up a zero on the Preds. Vezina candidate? You bet he is.