The Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks have both claimed the Stanley Cup in the last few years, so making it all the way to the finals is something many players on both teams have experienced before.
Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford is different. He played in just one game in the 2009-10 campaign and Antti Niemi was the netminder that led the Chicago Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup. Now it’s Crawford’s chance to show that he can be the guy that helps carry his team to a championship.
“I dreamed about it my whole life,” Crawford told CSN Chicago. “Worked hard, so it’s nice to finally get there after all the work. But there’s still a lot to do so we’ve got to be ready.”
Although Crawford has been consistently doubted since before the season began, he stepped up in the regular season and has a 1.74 GAA and .935 save percentage in the playoffs. He held his own in the Western Conference finals against the far more highly regarded, not to mention 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick.
“You’ve got to commend him on how he’s played all year long. The consistency, his approach where he just moves forward to see the next situation, the next shot; he’s unflappable in that area,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “He’s moved us along here and guys have responded in front of him. But Corey has been rock solid.”
If nothing else, this year’s proven that the Blackhawks are capable of winning with Crawford between the pipes, but the Boston Bruins, fresh off their sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins, look like Chicago’s greatest challenge thus far.