When I talked with Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman on Sunday (I’ll run the interview Tuesday night before and after the game), he made the point that the recent bulge in goals-against is a team issue.
Corey Crawford gets the bulk of the criticism, which is understandable because he’s the last line of defense.
The goaltending needs to be better, but so do the skaters in front of him. The defensemen haven’t consistently cleared the front of the net and the forwards haven’t been as responsible as they need to be.
Playing without Patrick Sharp for the next three to four weeks won’t be easy. Down the road, however, it may help the Blackhawks make necessary changes to their game.