The Chicago Blackhawks are in the midst of arguably their hardest stretch of games, but have scored five of six available points over their last three games. Now, the Blackhawks prepare for a showdown with the Anaheim Ducks, a game which matches two of the NHL’s Western Conference elite.
Much like the Blackhawks season, goaltender Corey Crawford has certainly not performed up to the unrealistically high expectations set in place by last season’s historic early season run. Crawford has always been a very good, but not elite, goaltender, leaving many Blackhawks fans clamoring for backup Antti Raanta as both goalie and team struggled.
However, with February not even a week old, Crawford has put together two excellent performances that have hopefully lifted the Blackhawks out of their January slump. In two contests earlier this week, Crawford is 1-0-1 allowing 1.92 goals per game and registering a .945 save percentage.
Crawford’s next big test comes tomorrow night against the Presidents Cup favorite Ducks, who rank third in goals per game, seventh in shots per game, and lead the league in even strength goals/allowed ratio.
Luckily, Chicago matches up well against Anaheim, and it showed the lone time Crawford was in net against the Ducks. Crawford only had to make 19 saves in the Blackhawks 4-2 win, a night that saw the Blackhawks go 0-for-5 against the Anaheim penalty kill.
If the Blackhawks wish to continue their winning ways, they will once again need to rely on Crawford. The timing is right for a team resurgence that establishes even more confidence as the playoffs loom closer.
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