Crawford's Strong Play Flying Under The Radar
The Los Angeles Kings go as netminder Jonathan Quick goes. A Stanley Cup winner in 2012, all Quick has done is win when in between the pipes for the Kings as not only as he won a Cup, but this is his third straight season in which he has gotten his hockey club into the Western Conference Finals.
On the other coast, the New York Rangers' backbone is masked man Henrik Lundqvist. As the franchise's all-time wins leader, shutout leader, Vezina Trophy winner (2012) and face of the hockey club, Lundqvist has done everything but win hockey's holy Grail for the Blueshirts.
In Montreal, Carey Price is the latest of the club's great netminders. Like Patrick Roy, Jacques Plante and Ken Dryden before him, Price is an All-Star and one of the game's top goaltenders who is looking to cement himself as one of the Canadiens' greats by bringing a Cup to Montreal.
With these three netminders having been on top of the NHL's goaltending pyramids for the last few seasons, there is one netminder who has gone unnoticed. This particular puck stopper has actually won a Cup and his his team seven wins away from accomplishing the same feat for the second straight season.
May be this is the way that Chicago Blackhawks' netminder Corey Crawford likes it. He may not be as flashy or seem as cool and collected between the pipes that the three-above goaltenders do, but nevertheless, this is a guy that knows how to win and does everything he can to keep the puck out of the net.
That has especially been the case in the Blackhawks' quest for their second straight Cup. After his team's 3-1 win this afternoon in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, Crawford is quietly showing that he can be more than counted on in the postseason.
In appearing in all of his club's games in the playoffs this year, Crawford is 9-4 with a 1.90 goals against average (first in the league), a .933 save percentage (first in the league) and one shutout (third in the league). Nevertheless, Crawford still does not get the attention that he deserves.
For his play in this year's postseason, Crawford deserves a lot of positive attention. For starters, he was one of the main reasons why his team was able to come through in their six-game series win over the Minnesota Wild in the second round.
In Games 5 and 6, Crawford was his team's best player on the ice. He stopped 61 of 63 shots, made a lot of saves on high-quality scoring chances, kept his team in both games and helped his team advance to the next round.