(Photo by: Mark Muano/Flickr)
No longer a young goaltender, the Chicago Blackhawks are starting to rely heavily on Corey Crawford in net. All the pieces are there for the Blackhawks with outstanding scoring talent and solid defense, but goaltending has been a problem ever since winning the Stanley Cup. Even rumors of acquiring Roberto Luongo popped up last season.
So far this season, Crawford has held up to his expectations having winning six of eight games and yet to lose a game in regulation. Crawford was drafted by the Blackhawks in 2003 in Nashville, being a part of the amazing draft class that are now super stars of the NHL.
At 6'2", Crawford plays big in his net. Watching Pekka Rinne, who's 6'5", and Corey Crawford when they're between the pipes, many would believe they're the same height. Crawford isn't forced to come out as much due to his height, but when he does, there is little room to shoot that only a sniper could score.
Crawford is exceptional in tight. There are no holes open when he is post knee up. When he slides from the post knee up, there is only a split second of space available to score from.
However, in all this high praise of Crawford, of course there are weaknesses in his game, which will be seen down the page. There is one that can only be explained without video. Crawford's five hole will be open because of his play and his pads.
Like Rinne, Crawford wears the Premier 4's by Reebok, but unlike Rinne, Crawford has little curve in his pads. When going to his butterfly position, genetically his legs will be unable to close the five hole with pads that have little curve. Calling out Crawford's pad selection isn't fair, but is something to keep in mind.
Here is how to beat Corey Crawford.
Glove Side: Crawford hasn't been known for his glove saves, but rather his good movement in stopping low shots. The glove isn't Crawford's strength.
5-hole: Again, it will be open with his pad selection and the lack of ability to close it.
Corey Crawford's career stats vs Nashville
#50 Corey Crawford
Corey Crawford's 2012-13 stats
#50 Corey Crawford