Corey Crawford had another rock-solid season in 2016-17 in terms of wins and losses, compiling a 32-18-4 record over 55 appearances, but his ratios declined noticeably, as he finished the year with a 2.55 GAA and .918 save percentage after ending the previous campaign at 2.37 and .924. However, the decline in GAA and save percentage can largely be attributed to the goalie losing a bit of his rhythm after missing three weeks of action in December while recovering from an appendectomy, so it would hardly be surprising to see him return to form in those categories in 2017-18. The 32-year-old may also be tasked with shouldering a larger workload this season, as the departure of proven backup Scott Darling to Carolina via trade has left the Blackhawks with unproven Anton Forsberg as their backup netminder. That increased workload and Chicago's ongoing dominance as an organization means Crawford could realistically break through the 35-win threshold this season, making him a highly desirable option in all fantasy formats.
Crawford stopped 22 of 25 shots in Thursday's 4-1 Game 4 loss to the Predators. Crawford wasn't the problem in this one, as the fourth Nashville goal was an empty-netter and the team in front of him failed to get on the board until just 5:18 remained in the third period. That said, he got outplayed by counterpart Pekka Rinne once again, and Crawford will want back a third-period goal by Colton Sissons that rolled in off the goalie's body after hitting the crossbar. At least it's apparent that Chicago's faith in him as its No. 1 option never wavered, as backup Scott Darling didn't play in this series after besting the veteran's .918 regular-season save percentage with a .924 mark in 32 appearances.
Crawford led his team onto the ice for warmups, indicating that he will be the starting goalie for Thursday night's must-win game in Nashville. The Chicago defense left Crawford out to dry in Game 3, allowing 49 shots on goal; while Crow managed a .939 save percentage in that game, he still emerged with the loss. Crawford has been one of the only bright spots in the Blackhawks' disappointing first three playoff games, so if his teammates can get their stuff together, they may just be able to avoid getting swept.
Crawford stopped 46 shots in Monday's Game 3 against Nashville, only to take a 3-2 overtime loss. He conceded a 2-0 third-period lead to a pair of Filip Forsberg goals, and then Kevin Fiala netted the winner deep in overtime. Still, other than his five-goal Game 2 implosion, Crawford has largely held down his end in the Chicago net; his teammates have let him down by scoring just two goals in three games on opposing minder Pekka Rinne. That puts Crawford in the unenviable position of facing elimination in Thursday's Game 4 on the road.
Crawford will be between the pipes for Monday's matchup in Nashville, Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The veteran got rocked in Game 2, allowing five goals on 29 shots. In Game 1, though, he stopped 19 of 20 shots in a 1-0 loss, so he has been hot-and-cold so far this series. Given many years of past success and two Stanley Cups, a bounce-back performance seems more likely than another implosion.
Crawford gave up five goals on 29 shots in Saturday's Game 2 loss to the Predators. Crawford played well in Thursday's loss but simply wasn't good enough Saturday as the Blackhawks dropped to 0-2 in the series. The 32-year-old has 83 playoff games and two Stanley Cups under his belt, so if anyone can get back on track, it's Crawford. Chicago has yet to score a goal in the series, so if it can break out of its funk, Crawford has the capability of backstopping the team to a comeback.
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Last 7 Games
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