The Chicago Blackhawks are your 2013 Stanley Cup Champions, using a late comeback to propel them to the win over the Boston Bruins in an absolutely fantastic six game series. Taking home the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in this year’s playoffs was star forward Patrick Kane.
There was little doubt that Kane was completely deserving of the award. He stepped up in big moments on more than one occasion this postseason, including a hat trick in the clinching game of the Western Conference Finals, and a pair of goals in Game 5 to help the Hawks grab the 3-2 edge in the Stanley Cup Finals.
But was he the most deserving? There are many that would argue that he was the second most deserving player on the roster, and it’s a sentiment that Kane actually agrees with. In his postgame press conference, Kane actually admitted that goaltender Corey Crawford may have been snubbed for the award.
Crawford had a brilliant postseason, one filled with narratives about his glove side and stolen games throughout each series of the playoffs. He capped off a fantastic regular season, which included a Jennings Trophy, with a terrific run during the playoffs, posting a 1.84 goals against average and .932 save percentage.
It was a year in which Crawford did an excellent job silencing his critics at every turn. He bounced back from a mediocre season, showed that confidence that you want in a starting goaltender, and got better as the year wore on, stepping up in the biggest moments in the season time and time again.
While you won’t find me trying to make a case against Patrick Kane, as the Conn Smythe absolutely deserved to go to him for the way he stepped up throughout, it’s hard to argue that Crawford was not the most important piece to the Hawks during these 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.