Game 3 saw the Boston Bruins take a 2-1 series lead over the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals. In a game that was largely dominated by the Bruins, even when the Hawks were on the power play, things could have been a lot worse than the 2-0 final score might indicate.
Corey Crawford has spent a good chunk of this postseason silencing his critics. Or at least whatever critics may have been left after his terrific regular season. He’s been brilliant throughout these Stanley Cup Playoffs, and has reached another level since the finals got underway.
No matter which aspect of the loss you look at, you’re going to have a hard time finding an area where the Hawks actually showed up. The intensity we saw from this team at times in the first two games was completely absent. Whether it was a road thing or a Game 3 thing, it doesn’t matter. They weren’t good. Of course, ‘they’ doesn’t include Crawford.
The Hawks’ goaltender kept Chicago in a game that they really had no business being in. He made some huge saves in the first period, stood tall even when the Bruins somehow generated chances when the Hawks were on the power play, and remained at that high level even after he gave up a couple of goals, one of which came on the power play.
Crawford finished the night with 33 saves on 35 chances from Boston, who spent a good chunk of the game hanging out in the Hawks’ zone. He had a much more difficult night than his counterpart, Tuukka Rask, as Crawford had to deal with constant traffic around the net, making his performance even more impressive.
Any way you want to look at it, it’s impossible to look at this game and say that Crawford is in any way responsible for the lost. His game is at, quite possibly, the highest level we’ve ever seen it. He was terrific. Time for the rest of his team to follow suit, or this will all go to waste.