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PHT Morning Skate: Crawford’s having another great playoff run

May 15, 2014, 8:05 AM EDT

Corey Crawford AP

There are no playoff games tonight, so instead we’re taking a look at the news around the league in Thursday’s morning skate.

Corey Crawford might not be regarded as an elite goaltender, but he’s been a big part of the Blackhawks’ recent success. For the second straight year, he has a sub-2.00 GAA and a save percentage over .930 in the playoffs. (Associated Press)

Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown isn’t too worried about the Honda Center crowd when Anaheim hosts the Kings in Game 7. “Quite honestly, San Jose is probably one of the loudest buildings in the whole league and we’ve battled them in the playoffs,” he said. (LA Kings Insider)

A couple of the Detroit Red Wings’ top prospects — Tyler Bertuzzi and Anthony Mantha — will compete against each other in the Memorial Cup championship. (Detroit Free Press)

Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara felt his team was hesitant with the puck early in Game 7 against Montreal last night. That ultimately proved to be fatal for the Bruins’ playoff run. (Boston Globe)

The Pittsburgh Penguins playoff shortcomings might be impacting fan interest. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Here’s an early preview of the upcoming Montreal Canadiens-New York Rangers series. (Newsday)

Finally, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s tweet might open some old wounds in Toronto and Vancouver:

  1. tfilarski - May 15, 2014 at 8:22 AM

    What does it take for Crawford to be regarded as an elite goalie??

    • gret9 - May 15, 2014 at 10:10 AM

      I think Corey lets in a few more softies that the other so-called elite goalies. But what makes him elite in my mind is in last years Cup run and this year up to this point, at crucial points of playoff games and series, when Chicago needs him to come up huge he almost always answers the call.

      • lbeezyse - May 15, 2014 at 10:42 AM

        Crawford single handily stole the Wild series for the Hawks. He is a playoff performer, but I give a lot of credit to Chicago’s system and defensive players. Seabrook, Keith, Oduya, Hjalmerson etc. They block shots better than any other team & that was evident in game 6. They kept 3-4 goals out of the net when Craw was caught out of position.

        I would not put Crawford in the Lundquivst, Price, Miller, and Quick category. He is in the next tier with Schneider, Howard, Halak etc. I think on a different team he is not the goalie he is with the Hawks.

      • 19to77 - May 15, 2014 at 12:49 PM

        Does Miller really still belong in the “top tier” conversation after falling apart in St. Louis? It’s been four years since the Vezina and his Olympic performance, and in his first postseason appearance since 2010-11 he generated an .897 save percentage. Add to that the fact that he hasn’t lead a team out of the first round since 2007 and his body of top-tier work is looking more and more like it’s firmly in the past.

      • endusersolutions2013 - May 15, 2014 at 1:12 PM

        He made a lot of outstanding saves in game 6. Two thoughts on your “elite list”:

        1. I would no longer include Miller
        2. What about Rask?

  2. joey4id - May 15, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    Crawford has been very good no doubt. I’m still not convinced he’s got the glove hand of a Price, Quick or Lundqvist. Every once in a while he gets beat by a stoppable shot on that side, and couple were in this year’s playoffs. It’s been reported that Stephane Waite, while with the Hawks put a video together of Crawford’s best glove hand saves for their viewing. It was at a time when many thought his glove hand was his weakness.

    Speaking of elite goalies, we’re going to see some good ones in the CF. Price, Lundqvist, Quick (maybe) and Crawford.

  3. illogic87 - May 15, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    blackhawks fans have to be the most bandwagon fans in all of sports. i remember going to united center 6 years ago and there were less than 1000 people there.

    • McFaddensPulledHammy - May 15, 2014 at 10:45 AM

      Been a fan of Indianhead since Secord, Savard, and Larmer and you are somewhat spot on. One of the complaints around here is that since they have become good and McDonough has implemented some things he did with the Cubs (like the “tiered” ticket price structure for premium games), non fans with cash are getting tickets to games. Hawks games are becoming an event and not a hockey game.

      One of the local radio hosts was talking about something he overheard at one of the club level bars during Game 5 the other night. Apparently someone asked the bartender how many periods there were in the game…..

      Now, my fellow Hawks fans, this is not an indictment on everyone of us. It’s just an opinion I and other fans have on those who only like the Hawks because they get to dance to Chelsea Dagger when they score.

      • hammerhead5573 - May 15, 2014 at 11:53 AM

        To an extent I can agree but hear this out. 7 years ago if a kid was 10 or 12 but just a casual fan, never went to a game and now love the Hawks due to the crop of players they have and due to winning, now the kid goes to the games. How does that make that kid who is now 16 or 18 a bandwagon fan? I get it that some fans are. Let me remind you all teams have them. Over all it’s a dumb argument. Fans did not stop going because of the losing. They stopped going because Wirtz had only one thing in mind and he failed to keep us attending. He didn’t care one bit about the product.

        I’m a Cubs fan and the Cubs will not put a good product on the field simply because Wrigley Field will draw people from around the world. If your in for the almighty dollar why would you build it, if the park is a better attraction than the team. It’s a darn shame too.

      • slysipops - May 15, 2014 at 12:14 PM

        i also have been a long time fan ( BOBBY HULL , STASH MAKITA , MAGGY , MOANS,MAKI ETC ) i could only get standing room only tickets most of the time even in bad years ( team wise ) . i never saw only 1000 people at either the UC or CS . that statement was bull ! BUT , as i have stated many times i do think many of todays fans are TRENDIES with a lot more money to spend on a place of HYPE rather than real fans !

      • McFaddensPulledHammy - May 15, 2014 at 1:01 PM

        Hammer, I’m talking about the 30 and 40 year olds who all of a sudden are raging Hawks fans.

        I’m not against bandwagon jumpers. As a matter of fact, since John McD has taken over, revenues have exploded (even though Rocky says they are still losing money) and there really should be no issue with keeping the core of the team. Financially anyway.

        My only point, and it kills me to say this, is that illogic87 somewhat had a point.

      • tone360 - May 16, 2014 at 1:13 AM

        I would say this happens with most if not all successful teams. Now, Billfold put us real fans through some hard times and Rocky has seemed to do no wrong. A couple of good drafts and some success along with getting the teams exposure back to a high level in the Chicagoland area helps to bring back real fans and attract bandwagoners alike. I can’t prove it but I suspect I was the crying ten year old Roenick mentioned seeing after the sweep by the Pens back in 92.

    • hammerhead5573 - May 15, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      Since you have an 87 at the end of your user name I’m going to venture to say you are a Penguins fan. Feelings still hurt your team got booted yet again? And since the a Hawks have been to the WCF in 4 of last 6 years I highly doubt they had only 1000 people there. Not even going to get into bandwagon versus non bandwagon with you. Your comments, like others, proves you know absolutely nothing about the Hawks, their fans or how fans speak up. Have fun watching some other team make it to the cup besides your own.

      • McFaddensPulledHammy - May 15, 2014 at 11:24 AM

        Hammer, you need to admit that many of the “fans” that are wearing 88 and 19 jerseys around the town now are bandwagonners. There were a lot that jumped off the Hawks bus right after Chris Campoli gave that puck away to Alex Burrows in overtime of Game 7 against the Canuck the year after winning the cup. And no, I’ll never forgive Campoli for that. Nor will I forgive Sharp for missing a wide open upper left corner in overtime in the same game.

        If you ask a lot of the new Hawks fans who Denis Savard is, they’ll say he’s the guy who does post game on Comcast Sports Net sometimes. Not the guy who coached them before Coach Stache or the guy who is in the team photo of best to wear the uniform.

    • dadawg77 - May 15, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      The team’s success turned around when Bill Wirtz died and Rocky brought in McConough to raise the team’s profile. His job has largely been successful because Toews and Kane were the spoils of suckage.

      Since the first run to the WCF was right at the end of Bill’s reign (he died mis season) and the start of the Toews Kane run, sparse crowds at the UC wouldn’t be a shocker at the start of the season.

      • gret9 - May 15, 2014 at 1:30 PM

        Actually that is incorrect. ‘Dollar Bill’ passed at the beginning of the 07-08 season, the last season Chicago missed the playoffs. I remember it well because that meant I could start watching the Blackhawks again after I swore in the early 90’s (that’s right, I missed the ’92 Cup finals run) that I wouldn’t follow the team until he was no longer the owner due to things like his stubborn refusal to broadcast home games.

      • dadawg77 - May 15, 2014 at 7:00 PM

        Looks like I meshed those years together as I was off a year in Wirtz death. Restated, seven years ago sparse crowds weren’t that uncommon as in the span of three seasons (06-07 to 08-09) there the Hawks jumped from second to last to top NHL team in attendance and have been since then.

    • rootgamble - May 15, 2014 at 12:53 PM

      I never really understood this argument. Of course when a team goes from bad to good people are going to jump on board and become fans. That is the nature of sports. Very rarely do people (especially those in non-sporting families) decide to start watching a bad team.

      The bandwagon-ness is only amplified with the way Dollar Bill Wirtz ran the Hawks. When games weren’t televised there was no way for anyone in town to gain any interest in the team because they couldn’t see the product unless they were paying to go to the stadium. How are you expected to increase your fanbase when the viewers are limited to only those who can fit in the stadium?

    • comeonnowguys - May 15, 2014 at 2:54 PM

      Success breeds interest, no doubt.

      Before you call Hawk fans bandwagon, shelve your TV for 20 years and cancel your Internet for 15, have your owner trade away all your stars because he is cheap.

      Talk to me in 20 years about how good a fan you are.

  4. packerswin96 - May 15, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    Nice to see a politician speak the truth for once. If Leaf or Canuck fans have a problem with what he said too bad.

  5. earpaniac - May 15, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    It’s not only the Hawks fans who are like that. I’d suggest that happens to ANY TEAM with sustained success. However, it does look worse as well because Dollar Bill, regarded as the worst owner in sports, had driven all the real fans away. And if you’re a long time fan, you remember the old Madhouse was the craziest arena in hockey.

    • dadawg77 - May 15, 2014 at 11:29 AM

      Even back then I would have rank Sterling below Wirtz. However it is just too bad the fire commissioner is more strict now of days.

      • McFaddensPulledHammy - May 15, 2014 at 11:50 AM

        Wirtz was far worse than Sterling. Here are some oldies but goodies:

        – “We want to protect our season ticket holders and will not show home games on TV.”
        – Our announcers can’t be honest and call our play lousy so Pat Foley must go
        – Trading Roenick because of a contract dispute
        – How many years of Bob Pulford as GM

      • dadawg77 - May 15, 2014 at 6:48 PM

        Don’t really want to argue the worst of the worst, but Baylor might have been worse than Pulford. His performance was the reason he lost his lawsuit against Sterling.

  6. earpaniac - May 15, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    No one ever will say Crawford is elite, but his numbers suggest he is.

  7. slysipops - May 15, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    CRAWFORD messes up …to be sure , but he always takes the blame AND usually makes a big comeback ! some of the so-called elite don’t take blame …ever !

  8. comeonnowguys - May 15, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    He isn’t flashy and he let’s in his share of softies. Because of that, he will likely never be considered elite, and that is a shame.

  9. hockeyornothing - May 15, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    Does it really matter if people are bandwagon fans? Who cares.?
    Check out virtually every away game and you’ll see a ton of Hawks fans. Often times the Hawks fans are louder than the home crowd.

  10. endusersolutions2013 - May 15, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    Of those top tier goalies mentioned above (I’m leaving Miller off and adding Rask)

    Only Price and Rask had a notably good regular season. Lundqvist and Quick were in the “pretty good” range, with save%s of .921 and .915 respectively. Corey was in the middle at .917.

    Looking at all of these last year, Crawford and Lundqvist had better years at .926, but Quick and Price were quite average at .902 and .906. Only Rask has put up good #s in the regular season and playoffs the last two years.

    So based on the numbers, I don’t see how Corey does not belong in this group.

  11. 16thearlofderby - May 15, 2014 at 5:09 PM

    no playoff games tonight not a bad thing

    break away from the TV one night yes

    enjoy

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