Well, here we are; September has arrived. You all know what that means: it’s almost time for training camp.
But we’re guessing you’ve been pining away for hockey for some time now. Considering that, we’re here to help. We’ll bring you a Chicago Blackhawks player profile (or two) a day. We’ll look at what said player did last season and what the expectations are for the 2014-15 season.
Goaltending: it’s a thankless job, really.
Sure, he’ll probably get his share of credit when things go right. But he’ll bear the brunt of it all when things go wrong. Hey, as the quarterback of hockey it comes with the job description. Our Chicago Blackhawks player profile of the day knows all about that. So as we continue our series on this fine Tuesday, we bring you our look back and look ahead on Corey Crawford.
A LOOK BACK
Crawford’s regular-season record was good once again, as he went 32-16-10 with a 2.26 goals-against average and .917 save percentage. It’s the third time in four seasons Crawford has recorded 30 or more victories; the one season he didn’t was the lockout-shortened, 48-game 2012-13 season.
He had a shaky start to the postseason and challenged himself after a rough Game 2 against the St. Louis Blues, and he responded beautifully. But for a great Crawford performance there were also the soft goals, those ones that drove fans crazy and made things a little tougher for the Blackhawks.
It wasn’t all on Crawford when the Blackhawks lost to the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference Finals. Several factors came into play there, from fatigue to potential injuries to a defense that was suddenly giving up everything. Still, a few more big stops from Crawford would’ve helped.
A LOOK AHEAD
Off his Stanley Cup victory in 2013 Crawford got a big contract, which kicks in this season. Now it’s about him living up to those big numbers.
Crawford will get some familiarity back this season as Jimmy Waite takes over as goaltending coach. Crawford had a great relationship with Jimmy’s brother, Stephane, and Jimmy said this summer that he has the same coaching style as his brother. That bodes well for Crawford, who has shown what he can do when he’s at his best. He just needs to eliminate some of those softies.
Coming up tomorrow: Marian Hossa