Corey Crawford is the starting goalie on the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks, but he’s not regarded by some as a big-time “money” goalie. But for the first 50 minutes of Chicago’s Game 6 showdown against Minnesota, Crawford stood on his head, his arms, his skates, his jock – you name it, he stood on it – to fend off a hard-charging Wild team desperate to avoid elimination.
Arguably Crawford’s best save of Game 6 came against Minnesota winger Justin Fontaine in the second period. Crawford made two huge stops on a partial breakaway by Fontaine to keep the score tied 1-1.
The save were two of 14 Crawford made in the middle frame. He made 29 of 30 saves through the end of regulation time. Although Hawks captain Jonathan Toews has thus far been the MVP of his team, if not the entire playoffs, Crawford is making a good case as the MVP of Chicago’s series against Minnesota. In the Hawks’ three wins against the Wild, Crawford has posted a save percentage of .938 or better, including a .964 SP in Game 5.
The Blackhawks are deep, but that shouldn’t take away from Crawford’s performance in Game 6 and in the 2014 post-season as a whole. He’s not just great because of the sum of the parts in front of him.