DALLAS Corey Crawford got the question again, the one about what he needs to do now that hes back in goal.
Win games? Stop pucks? Crawford told the media with a laugh on Thursday. I just have to stay focused and be ready for every game.
Crawfords had the net, lost it and regained it a few times this season. And with only 10 regular-season games remaining, including tonights against the Dallas Stars, its truly Crawfords crunch time.
If hes going to regain his No. 1 goalie status, it has to be now.
Crawford earned tonights start thanks to his relief performance against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night. But at this juncture the Blackhawks need their goalie, one of their goalies, to grab the reins and be ready for the playoffs. Crawford showed he could do that late last season. Now he gets another chance.
We just want him to play consistent, play strong and give us a chance to win. He doesnt have to win games on his own but get timely saves and get consistent, no matter what happens, coach Joel Quenneville said. Weve said, Is this the game? Is this the game? Hes had a lot of opportunities to be the guy and hes looking forward to it.
Crawford was as jubilant as any Blackhawk after he stopped the Blues third shootout attempt on Tuesday. He said his celebration was for the team, for the big two points earned. But he admitted it helped him, too.
Yeah, felt good personally, he said. I was still confident, I didnt lose confidence. But to get back in there and get a win like that right away, I can definitely build off that one.
Teammates recognized Crawfords boost on Tuesday and know hes got a big opportunity now.
You could see it in his celebration, a sense of relief and it was a huge victory for him to come in like that in a tough situation against the No. 1 team against the league, Jamal Mayers said. It was definitely a compliment to him and hopefully it catapults him and he takes the reins and runs with it.