Patience. Corey Crawfords was certainly tested during his tough slumps this season. But as it turns out, after watching some video, the Blackhawks goaltender recognized where he needed to truly show patience was on some of his saves.
Crawford said hes been more patient on some of his saves recently, and its paid off in more stops and more victories. Crawford has allowed just four goals in his last three starts, all victories. Crawford said he and goaltending coach Stephane Waite watched some film when the Blackhawks came home between the second and third legs of their road trip.
He made a few adjustments, and so far theyre working.
I had to play with a little more control, not running around as much or sliding, Crawford said this morning before his start tonight against the Detroit Red Wings. I was giving up way too many goals where teams were going around the net and getting open-net goals. I still have to make sure that Im aggressive and not too passive in certain situations.
Being too aggressive, Crawford said, was the problem recently. In some cases he would get out to make an initial stop but couldnt get back in time to save the rebound opportunity. As Crawford said, its reading the play and knowing when to be aggressive or let the play come to me.
Its been a learning experience for Crawford. Hes hoping this lesson learned sticks for a while.
Its helped me mentally, for sure, to go through something like that, Crawford said. Its just trying to correct it where I can avoid that rollercoaster there. I just have to focus and try to do the same thing tonight.
Coach Joel Quenneville said Crawfords finding his game again at a most opportune time.
This time last year he absorbed a lot of responsibility and we took off, he said. Goalies are under the microscope. You have to maintain confidence, poise and your approach, knowing youre comfortable in your habits. Find that next puck and make the next save; thats where he needs to be.