L.A. Kings head coach Darryl Sutter can sometimes be a man of few words.
But he offered compliments toward Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford on Friday, the day before the Blackhawks and Kings meet in Game 1 of the Western Conference final.
“We have to beat Corey Crawford to win a game. You can’t win 0-0. You can get 0-0 in the regular season, but you can’t get
wins in playoffs,” Sutter told reporters.
|He’s had a helluva year. Didn’t he win the Jennings? You better give Corey Crawford lots of credit.”
As a matter of fact, he and back-up Ray Emery did win the Jennings Trophy, giving up the fewest goals against – a grand total of 102 – during the regular season.
Despite just beginning the third round, Crawford is already gaining recognition as a potential candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of these playoffs.
The goalie he’ll be facing in this series, Jonathan Quick, is among the frontrunners for the Conn Smythe.
Quick leads all NHL goalies during this post-season in three of four major categories, and is tied with Crawford and Boston Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask for the most wins, with eight.
While Quick has been excellent, so, too has Crawford.
“He’s a top goaltender in the league and he’s proven that every game this year and through the playoffs, too. We’re lucky to have him,” Patrick Kane told CSN Chicago.
“He takes up a lot of space, a lot of room. It’sto see him do well because he works hard. It’s good to see that work paying off.”