Sunday night at the United Center was a very important game for the Chicago Blackhawks as they took on the Florida Panthers. This was because for the first time since anyone could immediately remember, the Blackhawks were at the top of a three-game losing streak.
The game was off to a great start as the Blackhawks had done something relatively unheard of for the team by scoring not just one, but two goals in two separate power plays. They Blackhawks were looking incredible in the first period and were setting themselves up for a great game.
But then things went south as Corey Crawford attempted to make a knee pad save against Florida and could not get back up on his skates. He was helped off the ice as Antti Raanta took over Crawford’s post in the net.
The rest of the game went very well as Raanta only gave up two goals and made numerous saves, so Chicago was very lucky in that regard. Even further, the Blackhawks were able to score four more goals to win it 6-2.
So, what is to be said for Crawford? He is currently tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins‘ Marc-Andre Fleury for the most wins in the NHL at 17. And while his save percentage has been down from last year and his goals against the average has gone up, Crawford is still preforming well enough to anchor the leading offense of the NHL.
This is why hearing that he will be out for three weeks to recover from Sunday night’s injury comes as devastating news. The rookie Raanta will likely be called to fill a bigger role during those three weeks. Raanta has played in a mere five NHL games but has an impressive 2.16 GAA.
Crawford being out at such a crucial time for the team (they are currently tied with the Anaheim Ducks for first place in the conference) will hopefully not prove to be detrimental to the team. Crawford is no doubt a talented netminder, and his presence out on the ice will be missed as Raanta attempts to fill his shoes.