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Quenneville praises Crawford’s maturity as Blackhawks look to rebound in Game 3

May 23, 2014, 11:30 PM EDT

Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Two Getty Images

Corey Crawford‘s game and whether he can bounce back from a tough loss is up for discussion – again.

Crawford allowed five of six goals in a Game 2 loss to the L.A. Kings, and the Chicago Blackhawks find themselves tied in this best-of-seven Western Conference Final at one-game apiece. It was a disastrous end to that game for Chicago, which had built up a two-goal lead on the score board and could’ve done so in the series.

To their credit, the Kings got a fortunate break on their first goal, then went on to put another four past Crawford, before an empty-net goal secured the win, sending this series back to L.A. all even.

The two teams meet again on Saturday in Game 3. Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville praised his netminder’s maturity and ability to bounce back after tough outings.

“Yeah, he’s moved forward off all his games, ordinary games as well. I thought he was fine last game. I thought he had a great practice out here today,” Quenneville told reporters.

“Just the way he moves, the way he handles the next situation is something that shows he’s really developed I guess his efficiency of being the kind of goaltender that you look for as being your key guy.

“I think every year he’s matured in different ways. I just think he’s gotten better and better in how to approach, whether it’s a goal that he feels he could have had, a tough loss. But I think he’s handled all situations, whether it’s a big win or coming off the last game. But he moves forward in the proper fashion. Today was a good example of that.”

As is the situation with every goalie in the playoffs, their play and performance is always subject to criticism when things aren’t going well and lauded when things go well. Crawford is no exception.

In the first round, he was critical of his own play after the first two games against St. Louis. Consider that now, in the third round, his name has been mentioned in the Conn Smythe discussion.

  1. sprtsfan1 - May 23, 2014 at 11:54 PM

    Cory is an Elite goaltender. He’ll bounce back from game 2 without a doubt. He is his own worst critic. Anyone who says he’s not an Elite backstop at this point really needs to take a look at his “clutchness”.

    • bruceboudreauchokejob - May 23, 2014 at 11:57 PM

      he is definitely clutch

  2. nightfireop - May 24, 2014 at 12:23 AM

    none of it matter tmrw, the team that wants it most and demonstrates that killer instinct will win.

    • gordocb - May 24, 2014 at 2:25 AM

      They all want it, they all play as hard as they can they all have killer instinct. But it comes down to way more than just those two simple things. It will ccome down to goaltending, controling the puck in your own end, stopping the dumb giveaways. Stayting out of the penalty box. And who can control the puck the best between the blue lines. These teams are both so good it’s the tiny things that mean the most. Getting back on D to break up any odd rushes, and possibly the power play or the kill depending on how the refs call the game. Killer instict, doesnt really mean much. These are professional hockey players the best at what they do. They all have killer instict, and they all want it. That’s why there still playing ini May.

  3. blomfeld - May 24, 2014 at 12:35 AM

    DON’T ‘EVER’ LET A BLACKHAWK SEE YOUR CAR BREAK DOWN !!!

  4. kingsfan93 - May 24, 2014 at 2:33 AM

    I’m not here to bash on C. Crawford…..

    But what makes him an ELITE goalie exactly?

    Is it because he plays in front of a great team?
    He won a Stanley Cup and/or William M. Jennings Trophy (considering a partial lockout yr)?
    Was it the 24 game winning streak they went on?

    I’ve watched PLENTY of C. Crawford over the past time. But (like many goalie) he has flaws in his game that need some polishing. His glove side is not great, he needs to have better coverage among (the post), and show he can win with a mediocre team.

    For the last couple of years C. Crawford has improved on his focus, positioning and composure in net. That back in 2011-12′ season he was a mess.

    But to say, he is too young in his career to maybe even say that he is considered an ELITE goalie.

    • chicagobtech - May 24, 2014 at 8:38 AM

      Before your question can be answered I think we need to answer this question:

      What makes for an elite goalie?

      And is that question one that can be objectively answered?

  5. gordocb - May 24, 2014 at 4:22 AM

    So i’ll start by saying i’m a Hawks fan. And i agree with with alot and disagree with alot of what your saying here. I think to say he was a mess is a little overstated2011-2012 he had a GAA of 2.72 and a SV% of of 903 definately not elite but not a mess, a little higher than niddle of the pack that year. One last set of stats i promise. Last years playoffs GAA 1,84 and SAV% 932. Tops of all goalies.

    How many goalies do you consider elite? 3, or 5, maybe 10. i’d put put C.C. in the top ten. Obdviously Lundqvist, Rask, Quick, Fleury? My opinion when you look at these guys numbers and they eye test there pretty close. Quick has maybe the best reflexes in the NHL, Lundqvist does it all good. Crawford just wins and had some extremly good games at cluth times, He’s in my top 10 maybe around 8. Is he elite? Probably not but is he one of the best in the NHL i think he is.

    So many variables it’s really hard to put these guys in any kind of order so it’s kind of up to the fan. For me Corey is a top 10 goalie, which i would consider elite. But just my opinion. And i think he’ll get better.

  6. slysipops - May 24, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    CRAWFORD has a history of stepping up in games after a weak looking loss . so i hope he does that tonight…and i hope the rest of the team comes out of sleep mode! an elite goalie looks good even in losses. an elite goalie only gets beat on fabulous scoring plays or very lucky bounces……….. CRAWFORD is not at the elite status yet, in some of his losses he has looked weak and let in some real soft goals . he is good and has great games ,but he is also blessed with one of or the best defensive cores in the NHL!

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