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Corey Crawford gets pulled, again

Dec 5, 2011, 10:32 PM EDT

Blackhawks Oilers Hockey AP

The Chicago Blackhawks are experiencing a more successful first quarter of games than last season’s edition, but Corey Crawford isn’t the main reason why. Crawford received a nice three-year contract extension in the off-season, but his first year as a well-paid No. 1 goalie hasn’t gone well. Crawford was pulled for the second time in three games tonight after allowing three goals on 16 shots.

Crawford yielded 11 goals in about seven periods of hockey. While his record is a nice 12-7-2 (and will remain that way), he’s clearly leaning on some of the best goal support in the NHL. He came into tonight’s Versus clash against the Phoenix Coyotes with paltry numbers (.899 save percentage and a 2.91 GAA) and those figures will only get more depressing.

Right now, it’s a worry that’s brimming under the surface, as the team has the top-end talent to get over those problems. (Just look at the game right now; Chicago just entered overtime as they rallied back to tie the game 3-3.) If this keeps up, you couldn’t blame Blackhawks brass if “legitimate top goalie” is on the top of their wish lists during the trade deadline, though.

  1. danphipps01 - Dec 6, 2011 at 12:32 AM

    Thing is, whether it’s a concern now or not, come playoff time, they’re eight kinds of fucked with him running the show. If they can’t shuttle him out and pick up a different netminder, all that top-end talent still won’t carry them to the Cup again. You have to have top-level goaltending to win in the postseason. Ask the Flyers or the Caps.

  2. comeonnowguys - Dec 6, 2011 at 9:09 AM

    It was at this point two years ago where people were saying the Hawks weren’t going to win because of their goaltending. Let’s just see how it shakes out.

  3. Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    I’m not sure I totally agree that “his first year as a well-paid No. 1 goalie hasn’t gone well” … prior to the six-game “Circus Trip” I think most Blackhawks fans would agree he was one of the strengths of the team. He’s had a bad run lately, and that’s all you can say for sure at this point. If he’s still struggling like this in a month, then it’s time to start condemning his season.

    Of course, this is the same writer who three weeks ago stated the Blackhawks were “running away with the West” when the season was barely a quarter complete (http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2011/11/17/blackhawks-give-canucks-a-sad-dose-of-reality/) … so perhaps a bit of hyperbole should be expected.

    • comeonnowguys - Dec 6, 2011 at 10:35 AM

      This site is rampant with hyperbole and knee-jerk proclamations.

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