Corey Crawford has always been an under-appreciated goalie outside of the Chicago market, and perhaps sometimes inside the city as well. It really is not fair in my eyes, for Crawford comes out with spirit at his most needed times. He has always been there for this Blackhawks team since his stay became permanent just five seasons ago. As for right now, that time is the 2016 postseason.
When Crawford was handed a six-year deal shortly after being awarded the first Stanley Cup Championship of his career, much of the city was nothing but exhilarated about the long term deal. Crawford has started 55 or more games in 5 of the 6 years in the league having 30 or more wins in as many seasons. A two-time William M. Jennings trophy winner in each of his two Stanley Cup winning seasons. Defense is a tremendous help (especially in Chicago), but a goalie is the last line of defense.
The guys in net can make for a great comparison. Everyone should like a good player to player comparison. I will not pride myself on making a good comparison, just try to do the job. This one is a generous one because it is basically set up for us. Corey Crawford was drafted in the second round, 52nd overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, 51 selections after goalie counterpart, Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Both goaltenders born in the province of Quebec, Canada, each with a path unique of each other to the NHL. Now Fleury has been in the NHL since he was taken first overall in the draft those 13 years ago and Crawford is just a little past settling in. Crawford does have two championships under him, though Fleury has put his team in position to win two Stanley Cup’s in back to back seasons, something that no team has actually accomplished since the Detroit Red Wings of 1997 & 1998. Fleury has 10 seasons under him getting 34+ wins in seven of them. With some perspective, Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers has 30+ wins in 9 out of 10 of his NHL seasons. When taking individual team records, Fleury blows Crawford away, with no surprise, as he holds Penguins goalie records for most career games, wins, and shutouts, as well as the most games, minutes, and shutouts in an individual season for the Penguins. Crawford only holds the best career save percentage in a Blackhawks uniform. detailed info at http://www.tonton.tv