Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford has finally created an identity for himself. After years of being heavily scrutinized, analysts at NHL.com have given Crawford the title as the seventh best active goaltender.
‘Crow‘, as fans call him, has notched the seventh position ahead of Pekka Rinne, Marc-Andre Fleury, and Martin Jones. Some find that extreme, but most are satisfied that Crawford has finally gotten some appreciation for his hard work. Last season, Crawford was 35-18-5 with a 2.37 goals-against average and .924 save percentage. Last season was the fifth straight 82-game season that Crawford had at least 30 wins.
Crawford led all goaltenders in shutouts last year with seven despite having a deteriorated defensive core. The Blackhawks finished third in the central division and fell to the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the 2016 playoffs. Many fans argued that it was Crawford’s poor goaltending abilities that lost them the series, but offensive efforts were visibly the cause of misfortune.
NHL.com Ranks Corey Crawford 7th Best Goaltender
With a drastically new roster, Crawford will be finding himself more comfortable between the pipes. Newly added defensemen Brian Campbell and Michal Kempny will definitely ease efforts in the crease. Ultimately it should give the two-time Stanley Cup Champion some confidence as well as room for improvement after last season.
Crawford was placed just above no. 6 goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who is seemingly more experienced than the 6’2 Montreal native. According to NHL.com, Lundqvist has won at least 30 games in 10 straight seasons and has a Vezina Trophy for best goalie under his belt.
If Crawford can compete at a Vezina level and maintain a stable goals against average, he may have a chance to surpass Lundqvist on the list. After all, he does have something Lundqvist doesn’t:
Two Stanley Cup rings to his name.
Hopefully, it’s not too much to ask for.