The talk of the Stanley Cup Finals has been mostly about the goaltenders on each side. In a game where Corey Crawford could have given up after surrending two two-goal leads to the Boston Bruins, he hung in there outlasting Tuukka Rask en route to a 4-3 triple overtime victory.
Crawford has been just as good as Rask in this post season, if not better. He is 13-5 with a 1.73 goals against average.
Many B’s fans figured Crawford was overrated due to the defense he has playing in front of him anchored by Duncan Keith, but that was not the case Wednesday night. Crawford was spectacular compiling 51 saves on 54 saves.
Even though the B’s had some unlucky bounces, Crawford robbed many B’s on the doorstep including Tyler Seguin on a breakaway, David Krejci multiple times, Kaspars Daugavins and Shawn Thornton.
Captain Jonathan Toews was praising his goaltender after his 51 save effort Wednesday night.
Crawford made 29 saves in the three overtimes and when it was easy to let fatigue take over, Crawford was better as the game prolonged which spelled disaster for the Black and Gold.
The B’s had more than enough chances to put the game away or end the game, but Crawford denied the B’s every single time.
One of Crawford’s big saves came when Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton had a 2-on-1 opportunity, but he turned away Thornton point blank.
Crawford talked about his performance after his Blackhawks took a 1-0 series lead on Wednesday night.
“It’s exhausting,” Crawford said. “I just try to tell myself to make the next save and we’re going to score on our next shot.”
Milan Lucic did net two goals against Crawford and it looked like Lucic would go on to be the Player of the Game and recipient of the Army Ranger jacket, but Crawford stole this game for the Blackhawks.
He kept them in the game all night long. It is a shame the Black and Gold could not pull this one out because they had Crawford and the Blackhawks on the ropes. But, let’s remember it is the first team to four wins that will take home Lord Stanley’s Cup not one.