How to Beat the Goalie: Crawford

(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 because of the doubts in Crawford's ability between the pipes.

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 because of his size, but when he does, there is little room to score.

Crawford is exceptional in tight. There are no holes open when he is in the post knee up position. When he slides from the post knee up and into the butterfly, 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.

TSN's Facebook page provided the following information. Where Crawford has been scored on during the playoffs.

High Glove – 4
Low Glove – 3
Low Blocker – 6
High Blocker – 3
5-Hole – 2
Leaky Glove – 1
Leaky Blocker – 3
No Chance – 1
Off Rebound – 5
Deflection – 3
Total = 31

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 7 4 1 2 .899 2.61

Corey Crawford's 2013 playoff stats

#50 Corey Crawford 12 5 0 1 .935 1.74