Corey Crawford

Crawford credits new pregame routine for improved play


So far, so good for Corey Crawford – after two starts, Chicago’s biggest question mark heading into the 2013 season is undefeated with a .927 save percentage.

Still early, you say? You’re right, but hey, if they’re already panicking about the goaltending in places like Vancouver and Philadelphia, why can’t Blackhawks fans quietly revel about Crawford’s performance?

Yesterday, the 28-year-old stopped 32 of 34 St. Louis shots as the ‘Hawks hung on to beat the Blues, 3-2.

How does Crawford explain his improved play?

Well, one thing that’s changed is his pre-game routine.

“Before I was playing a little bit of soccer, now I’m just going into my corner and stretching, doing a lot more before a game,” Crawford said, per “After our meetings, whether it be in the gym or something, I’ll relax and stretch out and get ready that way mentally by myself.”

The Blackhawks will go for their fourth straight win Thursday in Dallas.

Related: Crawford seeking redemption

Flyers want to prove doubters wrong

Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux
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Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.

“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly. 

So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.

That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”

The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.

“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”

That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.

Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen

Coyotes place towering enforcer John Scott on waivers

John Scott, Brandon Davidson
The Canadian Press via AP
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The Arizona Coyotes might not be using John Scott‘s services after all.

The team waived him this afternoon, per Craig Morgan. It’s possible that the Coyotes are simply giving themselves options as Scott clearing would allow them to send him down quickly at any point until he plays in 10 games or 30 days pass. At the same time, any team looking for a gritty fourth-line forward or third-pairing defenseman might be tempted to claim him in light of his affordable $575K cap hit for the 2015-16 campaign.

Scott is an imposing presence on the ice at 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds, but he doesn’t bring much to the table other than his physical play and willingness to drop the gloves. In terms of offensive abilities, he’s among the least capable in the league. In fact, the four points he recorded last season with the San Jose Sharks represented a career-high for the 33-year-old.

Meanwhile, Dan Cleary went unclaimed on waivers, according to Bob McKenzie, setting the stage for him to be reassigned to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.