The Stanley Cup champion goalie was really put to the test from the very first shot that was made at his net. Understandably so because it can be tough to get your bearings out on the ice after some time off.
So, the question comes into play: is Crawford ready for NHL ice time once again? Well, he made 31 saves overall, including some dramatic shots in the third period that he needed to in order to keep the score evened up in favor of the Blackhawks.
“The energy was definitely there,” Crawford said post-game. “I was seeing the puck pretty well. There were maybe some rebounds I gave up that usually I take care of, but I felt pretty good.”
Hawks fans and Crawford alike may have been hoping for a great showstopper in the net after coming off of the injury that gave rookie netminder Antti Raanta a chance to shine between the posts. While this was not necessarily the case, Crawford still did his job for the most part, and cannot be the one blamed for the Hawks’ loss.
“We worked, but we didn’t work smart,” coach Joel Quenneville commented. ”The positive was Corey’s play. He got us a point and made some real key stops. In the third period it was Crawford who really saved us.”
That is enough to conclude that Crawford showed up for the game, and that the rest of the team was not all the way there. Crawford may take a few games out in the net to get back to his usual self, but he will get there and he was fairly close against the Islanders.