It seems that every time people want to put Corey Crawford down, he shows why they shouldn’t. Crawford played what many, including myself, believe was the best game of his career Wednesday night, when he stopped 34 Minnesota Wild shots en route to helping clinch the series for the Chicago Blackhawks with a 2-1 overtime victory.
It seemed that no task was too much for Crawford last night, stopping breakaways, screened chances and even his own short rebounds. Crawford’s night was basically just one long highlight-reel, as he made impressive glove saves and got his pads out on enough good Wild chances to keep his team in it. For the second noticeable time this post-season, Crawford has played through numerous requests from fans for a benching in favor of Antti Raanta. After the team’s two losses in Minnesota, fans were asking, and some were even requesting, a change in net. Luckily for all of us, Joel Quenneville didn’t even consider the change, and Crawford played spectacularly through the final two games, giving up only two goals.
Crawford’s play in the last two post-seasons has been spectacular. He’s played at least as well, if not better, than Tuukka Rask, Jonathan Quick and Antti Niemi, who are still somehow considered better than Crawford by a large margin. Crawford is still liable to give up a weak goal every so often, but it just seems that this playoffs he’s on top of his game. Even in games that the he gives up 3+ goals, he makes spectacular saves and gives the team at least a chance to win.
Crawford has been a top 10 goalie the past two seasons, so my request to fans is to stop hating on him. He’s been one of the best playoff performers in the entire NHL the past two seasons, and is finally proving how great he really is. So those fans that want him to be benched after a bad game, or who talk bad about him regardless of his performance, sit down and keep quiet. Realize that you have a very good goalie, who’s becoming more and more elite by the game, and maybe even buy his jersey and pretend that you know he’s one of the best. Any real fan will appreciate the Corey Crawford no.50 jersey.