Friday was a very good day for the Blackhawks. Not only are they up 1-0 in the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins, but Jonathan Toews won the Selke and there is a well-deserved media push for Corey Crawford to be in net for Team Canada in the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Perhaps something that has allowed Crawford to crawl up the goalie ranks is him being overlooked and under the radar for the past several years. Crawford was drafted 52nd overall in the 2003 draft. It's also interesting to note that Marc-Andre Fleury was drafted 1st overall in the same draft.
Teammate Andrew Shaw commented on Crawford's stellar play to the media Friday, "He's the reason we're here." Corey Crawford didn't just help his team get to the playoffs, he's the best goalie in the playoffs.
Crawford has 13 wins, a 1.76 goals against average and .936 save percentage in the 2013 playoffs. Many of the 51 saves he made in 3OT against the Bruins in Game 1 were uncanny, highlight reel plays.
Coach Q was asked about his thoughts on Crawford's chances of making Team Canada:
"Knowing all the guys that are under consideration, I just know that Crow had a real nice year this year. Looking back to 2 years ago when he came in as a rookie and played thirty something games in a row for us and got us in the playoffs, and then played an outstanding series against Vancouver. Last year he went into that year, it's a different animal having that number one job and expectations changed.
I thought he had some real good stretches for us over the course of the season. I had to answer a lot of questions this season, going into the season about our goaltending... We said we're very comfortable with Corey. I think he's got the capability of being a top goalie in the league. I think a number of top goalies after a strong rookie season have an ordinary year the next year, with different challenges.
Corey with the expectations this year came in with the right attitude and frame of mind, loved the consistency of his approach in net. The predictability game in and game out has been in place. I think Ray Emery and him have made the perfect tandem. I think they both complement each other and are very supportive in the locker room in a lot of ways. It's been healthy for both of them."
Corey Crawford was asked why he has been overlooked thus far in his career and he responded with, "I don't know... you tell me (he said with a smile and a chuckle)." When asked if he would jump at the opportunity to play for Team Canada, Crawford said, "Definitely. To play for your country is a huge honor."
Look for Corey Crawford to again be an anchor in net for his team in Game 1 tonight.
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