The Chicago Blackhawks are experiencing a more successful first quarter of games than last season’s edition, but Corey Crawford isn’t the main reason why. Crawford received a nice three-year contract extension in the off-season, but his first year as a well-paid No. 1 goalie hasn’t gone well. Crawford was pulled for the second time in three games tonight after allowing three goals on 16 shots.
Crawford yielded 11 goals in about seven periods of hockey. While his record is a nice 12-7-2 (and will remain that way), he’s clearly leaning on some of the best goal support in the NHL. He came into tonight’s Versus clash against the Phoenix Coyotes with paltry numbers (.899 save percentage and a 2.91 GAA) and those figures will only get more depressing.
Right now, it’s a worry that’s brimming under the surface, as the team has the top-end talent to get over those problems. (Just look at the game right now; Chicago just entered overtime as they rallied back to tie the game 3-3.) If this keeps up, you couldn’t blame Blackhawks brass if “legitimate top goalie” is on the top of their wish lists during the trade deadline, though.