When the Chicago Blackhawks signed goaltender Corey Crawford to a new six-year contract extension, there were questions over whether or not the club was making the right move. After all, Crawford was coming off of a pair of subpar years prior to putting it together in 2013.
Of course, putting it together is quite the understatement. He was one half of a Jennings Trophy-winning goaltending duo while providing the Blackhawks with one of the major reasons they were able to pull off a second Stanley Cup title in the last four years. He was fantastic, both in the regular season and the playoffs.
That didn’t stop the questions, and with Crawford set to his the market as a free agent next summer, his future in the Windy City was a question. Once he put the pen to paper on the lucrative new contract, those questions became even larger. Did the Hawks overpay to keep Crawford in Chicago?
To this point, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Crawford has picked up right where he left off last season, providing excellence between the pipes once again. He didn’t get off to the greatest of starts, and there were those that were inexplicably concerned over his play in the first couple of games this year.
In the first two games of the season, Crawford allowed six goals and posted a save percentage of just .875. Since that point, though, he’s been lights out in the Chicago crease. His goals against average for the year is just 2.05, and his save percentage is back up to .921, as he’s allowed two goals or less in each of his last five starts.
It’s been made pretty clear by Crawford here early on that he’s the real deal. Those that still have questions about whether or not Corey Crawford is a franchise netminder are slowly starting to creep back underground. If he continues this type of play throughout the year, it’ll be yet another move that makes general manager Stan Bowman look like the best in the business.