Mar 19, 2012, 4:23 PM EDT
Fresh off a three-game winning streak and earning the NHL’s second star of the week, Corey Crawford has reclaimed the Blackhawks’ No. 1 goaltending gig.
Big deal, right?
Wrong, says ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers.
Just as it was foolish to declare [Ray] Emery the playoff starter in early March, we still can’t do the same with Crawford. He’s lost the net one too many times this season to be sure of anything before the calendar turns to April.
Crawford won the starting job for the eight (or ninth, we’ve lost count) time after going 3-0 with a 1.09 GAA last week. The turning point occurred during Tuesday’s 4-3 shootout win over the Blues — after Emery allowed three goals in a 12-minute span in the first period, Crawford came in and stopped all 18 shots faced, rallying Chicago to victory.
That was followed with wins over Dallas and Washington, though the Caps victory was hardly Crawford’s doing. It took Washington 16 minutes to register its first shot on goal, finishing with just 18 on the night.
Moving forward, Crawford’s goal will be to string together more than a handful of wins. His best stretch this year was a four-game unbeaten streak from Feb. 16-21 — another time when he looked to have secured the starting gig — but he followed it up with poor performances against Dallas, LA and Toronto, once again ceding the No. 1 job to Emery.
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