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Ed Hockuley really just said this on MNF when explaining a non call. "There was no delay of game, we were just stretching our balls". Yes, seriously.Show comments (4)
Why couldn't the hawks play on thanksgiving so I have a good reason to tell my family to shut off lame ass football.Show comments (3)
Here are Kris Gray's photos from HASB! http://www.indianheadnation.com/gallery/album/50-have-a-skate-with-bob-2013-11913/Show comments (1)
New blog is up! Short and brief....written in Dallas! :) http://lampshadegurl.blogspot.com/2013/11/welcome-back-chicago-season-has-begun-d.html?spref=fb
Hump you stuShow comments (4)
Player Evaluation: Corey Crawford
Corey is an interesting case as he has spent the last nine years within the Blackhawks organization after being drafted in 2003. Although he did struggle with consistency issues last season, it would be tough to cut ties with such a long investment in a player that has always been touted as the future plug in Chicago's net. There have been plenty of rumors circulating that the Blackhawks brass has been seeking out other options to take over the workload* but nothing has gained traction which leads me to believe it's not exactly a serious inquiry and they will be going into the year with Corey as the starter for the 2nd straight season.
Player Evaluation: Michael Frolik
DiCarlo discusses what's in store for Blackhawks forward Michael Frolik
Player Evaluation: Steve Montador
Ton gives his take on Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Steve Montador
Player Evaluation: Dave Bolland
DiCarlo takes a look at the Chicago Blackhawks center Dave Bolland
Player Evaluation: Niklas Hjalmarsson
Ton takes a look at Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Nik Hjalmarsson
ROLLING BACK THE CLOCK
In his minor-pro career, he was hardly considered a blue chip goaltender and really struggled with consistency issues at all levels. There is very little reason to believe that he will ever figure it out, but there is also every reason to believe that if he gets hot at the right time the Blackhawks could benefit greatly, but relying on that notion is equivalent to playing roulette.
Crawford made his mark in his rookie season when he backed up Marty Turco, only to steal the job after the first quarter of the season. He ended his first year with 33 wins, save percentage of 91.7% (92.4% at even-strength), and a 2.30 goals against average in 57 games. In the playoffs he battled hard and forced the President's trophy winning Vancouver Canucks to seven games, earning him the starting job for the following season. Unfortunately, he suffered from consistency issues (those words are a dagger to a goaltenders heart) after starting the season as the #1 goaltender, and at times, saw himself playing 2nd fiddle to Ray Emery before regaining his net in time for the playoffs. Needless to say, he didn't fare too well against the Coyotes which is why questions have circulated around his future in Chicago. Ultimately his numbers dipped as a result of his low's: winning 30 games, save percentage of 90.3% (91.5% at even-strength), and a staggeringly high 2.72 goals against average in 57 games.
Last year, I wouldn't say that he was terrible against the Coyotes because he was able to keep every game close. However, that series was a matter of inches, and he wasn't able to close the gap when it counted -- overtime. He wasn't able to stop two soft pucks when it counted and it ended up costing the Blackhawks two games in the series, but don't forget the year prior he was clutch against the Canucks.
He is capable of performing when his head is in the right place and I believe that mentally he was overloaded in the playoffs. It's difficult to find a goaltender that can push through the mental aspect of the high's and low's that they can experience through a full season, especially when things aren't going your way. But now Corey is entering his 3rd season in the NHL, he has a fresh start, and hopefully he can figure out how to battle his way through the mental game and roll through the playoffs. He has the team in front of him to do it, he just needs to remain confident and keep the team in front of him confident in his abilities.
Can he accomplish that this season? Who knows, history says he has two options after suffering the sophomore slump... he can be the next Steve Mason/Andrew Raycroft or he can bounce back and be the next Carey Price/Jonathan Quick. I think he will end up somewhere in between.
His save percentage was scrutinized last season but that stat is a marginal tool at determining the success of Chicago netminders without considering the quality of shots faced. On the Blackhawks, goaltenders aren't necessarily relied on to stop a heavy barrage of shots, so he'll have to stay focused on when the opposition does have a quality chance and react in timely fashion. Essentially, all that matters is that he makes the right save at the right time, more-so than the guy at the other end of the rink does. That statement simply didn't ring true enough times last season.
PREDICTION: 61 GAMES | 36 WINS | 0.911 SVP | 2.51 GAA | 2 SO
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