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Crawford credits new pregame routine for improved play

Jan 23, 2013, 4:23 PM EDT

Corey Crawford Getty Images

So far, so good for Corey Crawford – after two starts, Chicago’s biggest question mark heading into the 2013 season is undefeated with a .927 save percentage.

Still early, you say? You’re right, but hey, if they’re already panicking about the goaltending in places like Vancouver and Philadelphia, why can’t Blackhawks fans quietly revel about Crawford’s performance?

Yesterday, the 28-year-old stopped 32 of 34 St. Louis shots as the ‘Hawks hung on to beat the Blues, 3-2.

How does Crawford explain his improved play?

Well, one thing that’s changed is his pre-game routine.

“Before I was playing a little bit of soccer, now I’m just going into my corner and stretching, doing a lot more before a game,” Crawford said, per “After our meetings, whether it be in the gym or something, I’ll relax and stretch out and get ready that way mentally by myself.”

The Blackhawks will go for their fourth straight win Thursday in Dallas.

Related: Crawford seeking redemption

  1. adambballn - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    Crawford has looked much better but I think the biggest reason for his improvement has been the Hawks defense in front of him. Keith has been able to play 20-22 or so minutes and stay fresh compared to the 27 to 30 he was consistently playing nightly last season. The additions of Oduya (+5) late last year and Rozsival (+3) in the off season as the Hawks 3rd defensive pair are looking much sharper than Montador and O’Donnell did last season… it’s still early but the Hawks are looking tough!

  2. jhuck92 - Jan 23, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    Crawford goes into his corner because he knows he’s been bad.

  3. comeonnowguys - Jan 24, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    He had a great rookie year, and then in the next year there was a dropoff. They should make a phrase to describe that.

    Yeah, he’s playing better, but @adam’s right, he’s getting a lot of help from his D. They’re rolling three solid lines in front of him, and they’re cleaning house like they did for Niemi three years ago.

    Also, if he keeps getting caught out of the crease like he did against St. Louis, I’m going to be artificially bald by playoffs.

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