CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 2: Goalie Corey Crawford #50 of the Chicago Blackhawks makes a save in Game Two of the Western Conference Final against the Los Angeles Kings during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on June 02, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

Corey Crawford has been ‘awesome’


Before this season began, Chicago was frequently mentioned as a possible destination for Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo because, after all, what the Blackhawks need more than anything is a goaltender.

That sentiment actually wan’t unfounded given Corey Crawford’s rough sophomore campaign, but even after he posted a 1.94 GAA and .926 save percentage in the 2013 regular season, there were still plenty of people that doubted his abilities.

It’s only after he played a key role in Chicago overcoming a 3-1 deficit against the Detroit Red Wings and outdueled Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick through two games in the Western Conference finals that the 28-year-old netminder’s recent accomplishments are getting recognized.

“Yeah, he’s awesome,” Chicago’s Patrick Sharp, who has been pretty good himself, said of Crawford. “Been answering questions all year about Corey, if he’s the No. 1 guy, if he can do it. Said the same answer all along. There’s no question in our locker room.

“He’s the guy we want in net back there. He’s proven it in the past. It’s nice to see him finally get the credit that he deserves.”

Just to put some numbers on what Crawford has done in the playoffs, his 1.67 GAA is the best out of anyone who has gotten at least one start in the postseason and his .938 is only a sliver behind Quick’s.

“I feel like I’ve been pretty strong, pretty consistent this year,” Crawford said after Game 2. “I’ve taken pride in that this year, to have the same game every night, give our guys a chance.

“With a team like this, you know, we have such a great offense, just give our guys a chance and make sure it stays within a goal or two, and we’re in good shape.”

The Blackhawks certainly are in good shape right now, and it’s not just because of their potent offense.


Video: Toews, Crawford get involved in rough stuff

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.

Bruins put Morrow on IR, bring up Cross

Brady Skjei, Joe Morrow
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Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.

With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:

Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.

Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.

Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.

The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?