When a goalie hasn’t won a game in over a month, it’s deceptively easy to say that he’s bad. However, when you take into account that the goalie in question was injured and circumstances have caused his comeback to be less than stellar, you have to take a step back. That’s the situation with Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford. After suffering a lower-body injury, Crawford has recently come back but lost in both games. But on the stats sheet, Crawford is still the clutch goalie he’s always been.
In his return against the New York Islanders, Crawford was solid, making 31 out of 34 saves as pointed out here. The main reason the Hawks lost was because of unfortunate gaffes that the Islanders took advantage of. Against the San Jose Sharks, the Sharks came out determined to end their three-year United Center drought, outplaying the Blackhawks in every way except during the early minutes of the third period. Again, mistakes by the Hawks cost them a win even though Crawford made 30 saves in the second and third periods.
Indeed, part of the problem is the team. They’ve had a rough stretch in the early part of the 2014 calendar year that needs to be addressed, but Crawford’s performed well. The Hawks could have easily lost these games, but thanks to Crawford they’ve had their chances. Thanks to Crawford, the Hawks have still managed to grab the points they need.
While the rest of the Hawks’ struggles are best saved for a different article, it cannot be stated how important Crawford’s play has been. Thanks to him, the Hawks have managed to steal a few points. And it bodes well for the time being as Crawford should be ready for action by the time the playoffs roll around. Antti Raanta has done a good job, but this is Crawford’s net and he’s more than welcome back.