Posts Tagged ‘Corey Crawford’

Top Line: Matt Cooke hit puts NHL discipline czar to test; more links

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By Allan Muir

An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

• Mikael Granlund’s spectacular OT game-winner gave the Wild the result they deserved against the Avalanche.

• Colorado is irate after defenseman Tyson Barrie was injured by a reckless hit from Matt Cooke. The league isn’t too happy, either. It scheduled an in-person meeting with Cooke for later on Tuesday, which suggests that he will be suspended for at least five games. It’s the latest incident in what’s been a trial by fire for new NHL disciplinarian Stephane Quintal.

•  One thing to keep in mind when Quintal’s ruling comes down: Under the terms of the CBA, Cooke is not a repeat offender. Doesn’t quite seem right, does it?

• Barrie’s injury was brutal, but the fractured leg suffered by Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas was heartbreaking. You can’t help but feel for the hard-working veteran, who battled back from an injury to the same leg earlier this season. Here’s hoping he’s able to make a complete recovery during the summer.

• If the Bruins are going to get past the Red Wings in their opening round series, Boston will have to do something it hasn’t done since 2007.

• Reinforcements could be on the way for the Bruins.

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  • Published On Apr 22, 2014
  • 2014 NHL Playoffs: Corey Crawford leads the Blackhawks back to basics

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    Corey Crawford regained his form and the Blackhawks followed suit. (Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

    On home ice, Corey Crawford regained his form and the Blackhawks followed suit. (Bill Smith/Getty Images)

    By Brian Hamilton

    CHICAGO – A goaltender’s mind can be a delicate and peculiar thing, so Joel Quenneville typically stays out of it. The Blackhawks’ coach may have two Stanley Cups to his credit, but others on his staff are better equipped and better trained to maneuver through that mental labyrinth. On Sunday, though, it was time for him to meet with Corey Crawford. Twice the defending Stanley Cup champions had held last-minute, one-goal leads in St. Louis during their opening round playoff series. Each time, Chicago had lost the lead and subsequently the game.

    After the second frustrating defeat, Crawford said he needed to play better.

    And after Crawford made that admission, Quenneville flatly agreed. His words were an unmistakable challenge that brought him face-to-face with his netminder the next day. But there was no ultimatum, no red-faced diatribe. There was only reassurance. Quenneville told Crawford that he recognized the goalie was taking responsibility and commended him for it. Down two games to none on Easter, it was time to focus on resurrection.

    “The task at hand was pretty obvious,” Crawford said. “And the performance we needed was obvious, too.”

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  • Published On Apr 22, 2014
  • 2014 NHL Playoffs: Toews, Crawford lead Blackhawks to 2-0 win over Blues

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    Jonathan Toews (19) set the tone early on for the Blackhawks in Game 3. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

    Jonathan Toews (19) set the tone early on for the Blackhawks in Game 3. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

    By Brian Hamilton

    CHICAGO – At even a fleeting suggestion of frayed nerves in his dressing room, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews reared up early on Monday. “I don’t know who’s talking about losing composure,” he huffed after his team’s pre-Game 3 morning skate, when the assembled media before him were talking about the defending champions doing precisely that. Chicago was down an 2-0 in its first-round series against the Blues, and the Blackhawks had often played without intelligence, poise or the puck. They were pursuing another title, in other words, while doing things that would ensure they’d have almost no chance of winning one.

    Chicago rectified that on Monday night in a 2-0 win over the St. Louis that was far from perfect, but more in character. The Blackhawks successfully protected a late one-goal lead for the first time in this series with a disciplined, mostly steady effort, which was spearheaded by and early goal from Toews and finished by a resolute Corey Crawford in net. And that’s all the Hawks needed. Instead of going out of their way to hit everything on skates, a club that wins with its speed and puck possession simply got out of its own way. And that got Chicago back in the series, with Game 4 coming up on Wednesday.

    Some other quick thoughts on Monday’s proceedings:
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  • Published On Apr 21, 2014
  • 2014 NHL playoffs: Blues rally for another OT win, 4-3, over Blackhawks

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    Brent Seabrook was ejected after a controversial hit on Blues captain David Backes. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

    Brent Seabrook was ejected after a controversial hit on Blues captain David Backes. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

    By Brian Cazeneuve 

    If the St. Louis Blues can survive a game such as the one they played against the Blackhawks on Saturday, then they could be heading to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. Forget their long history without a championship. Forget their six-game losing streak to end the season, which also dashed their hopes for the Presidents’ Trophy. Trailing 3-2 in the final minutes of the third period, the Blues cashed in on a huge opportunity after Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook received a game misconduct for leveling David Backes with a shoulder to the head. On the ensuing power play, Vladimir Tarasenko’s clutch goal with 6.4 seconds left sent this one to overtime where Barret Jackman of all people gave the Blues a thrilling 4-3 victory and a 2-0 lead in their first-round series against defending champion Chicago. This St. Louis team appears to be maturing before our eyes.

    Here are a few things we took away from a Game 2 that was full of bumps, thumps and lead changes:

    Game recap | Box score | Highlights

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  • Published On Apr 19, 2014
  • Joe Thornton, Claude Giroux highlight Canada’s Sochi All-Snubbed Team

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    Team Canada's Joe Thornton at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

    It’s a true measure of the depth of Canada’s talent pool that Joe Thornton was left off the Sochi roster. (Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    Every four years, Canadians wish that hockey was more like bobsledding. Or maybe pairs figure skating.

    Those sports, after all, allow a country to enter multiple teams in the Olympic Games, assuming that it has the talent pool to field a second world-class entry. And when it comes to hockey, Canada is plenty deep enough.

    Regardless of who Steve Yzerman and his crew picked today, some excellent players were not going to make the cut. Really, really excellent players. Enough, in fact, to field another squad capable of competing for a medal in Sochi.

    Start with the NHL’s assist leader Joe Thornton feeding sauce to James Neal and Martin St. Louis. Then imagine the blazing speed and Globetrotter-esque puck movement of a Kid Line featuring Tyler Seguin between Taylor Hall and Jeff Skinner.

    Back them up with 2013 Norris finalist Kris Letang and gold medalist Brent Seabrook and solid goaltending from Cup-winner Corey Crawford or young sensation Josh Harding and you’ve got a club that would give other teams fits.

    Sadly, for Canadians anyway, that second squad is just a fantasy. But it is fun to imagine what a Canada 2 team might have looked like…

    MUIR: USA’s All-Snubbed Team | My final Team Canada projected roster | Windy ceremony draws tweet heat

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  • Published On Jan 07, 2014
  • Corey Crawford, Dougie Hamilton, Marc Staal head to injured reserve

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    Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford was helped off the ice after being injured in a game against the Florida Panthers.

    Just as he was playing his way into the Sochi discussion, Hawks goalie Corey Crawford was injured. (AP Photos)

    By Allan Muir

    Three key players are set to miss time with injuries that are more serious than was initially reported by their teams.

    The Blackhawks, losers of three-of-four, will have to break out of their slump without the help of Corey Crawford. Chicago’s No. 1 stopper needs three weeks to nurse a groin injury suffered in Sunday night’s win over Florida.

    With Nikolai Khabibulin already on the sidelines, rookie Antti Raanta, the team’s third stringer, steps into the breach, starting tonight in Dallas. He’s been solid in limited exposure this season, going 3-0-1, including a 29-save effort in relief of Crawford on Sunday. Kent Simpson, who was Raanta’s understudy with Rockford of the AHL, has been recalled by the Hawks to serve as the team’s backup.

    Week 10 Power Rankings: Blackhawks relinquish top spot

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  • Published On Dec 10, 2013
  • Team USA/Team Canada Olympic Goalie Power Rankings: Week 7

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    Tim Thomas of the Florida Panthers is bidding for a Team USA roster spot for Sochi.

    Playing for the U.S. at Sochi was a reason why Tim Thomas came back…and is now in the mix. (Jack Dempsey/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    Each week, we’ll rank the top contenders to man the pipes for Team USA and Team Canada in Sochi based on their play to date. (All stats current as of Wed. Nov. 20)

    Team USA

    1. Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres

    Former NHL netminder and current CBC commentator Kelly Hrudey had Miller at No. 1 on his NHL goalie rankings last week. Can’t say I’d argue with him. This guy is such a proud athlete, he’s practically willing the Sabres to be competitive. He was at his world-beating best against the Maple Leafs on Friday, stopping 32 of 33 in a 3-1 win. (Last week: 1)

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  • Published On Nov 20, 2013
  • Team USA/Team Canada Olympic Goalie Power Rankings: Week 4

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    Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings

    Jonathan Quick hasn’t been consistently sharp, but he’s the best of a shaky US bunch. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Each week, we’ll rank the top contenders to man the pipes for Team USA and Team Canada in Sochi based on their play to date. (All stats current as of Wed. Oct. 30)

    GALLERY: Scariest goalie masks through the years

    Team USA

    1. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

    He needed to get back into the groove after he allowed four goals against the Coyotes last Thursday night, but the woeful Oilers didn’t offer much of a test, sending just 18 shots his way. “He’s probably their guy,” a scout informed me last week, “but they’d probably feel a little better if he’d string a couple of good ones together.” (Last week: 1)

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  • Published On Oct 30, 2013
  • Top Line: NHL’s best young core; Alex Ovechkin-to-KHL talk, more links

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    Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers

    Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and the Oilers are expected to take a big step toward Cup contention. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • All those years spent in the basement are starting to pay off for the Oilers and Avalanche, but which team made the most of its misery by building hockey’s best core of young prospects?

    • The Blackhawks let Stanley Cup-winning goalie Antti Niemi walk after their 2010 championship. GM Stan Bowman had no intention of doing the same with Corey Crawford. But was Crawford’s new six-year, $36 million deal a smart move? Both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are coming up on big deals, and even with the cap expected to go up next season, there will be only so much room. Bowman seems to have a lot of faith in a goalie with one great season on his resumé.

    • All that talk about Alex Ovechkin defecting to the KHL? Wishful thinking by the Russian league, writes Katie Carrera.

    • Sovietsky Sport has an interview with KHL boss Alexander Medvedev that’s worth reading. Here’s a comically bad translation via Google that sort of gets the main points across, as well as the names of seven KHL players whose wages aren’t counted under the league’s salary cap. Nothing sketchy about that, right? Guessing you can name at least one of them . . .

    Loui Eriksson skated with the Bruins for the first time yesterday and it sounds like he made himself right at home.

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  • Published On Sep 03, 2013
  • Blackhawks sign Corey Crawford to six-year, $36 million extension

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    Goaltender Corey Crawford of the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks

    Corey Crawford landed some silver (the Stanley Cup) and gold (a fat new contract) this year. (Michael Tureski/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    Looks like this will go down as a pretty good day for Corey Crawford and his family.

    The Blackhawks’ netminder was already scheduled to spend Labor Day commemorating Chicago’s championship season with the Stanley Cup in his home town of Chateauguay, Quebec. Now he gets to celebrate with a new deal in his back pocket as well.

    The Blackhawks announced this morning that they have agreed to terms with Crawford on a six-year contract extension. Renaud Lavoie of TVA is reporting the deal is worth an average of $6 million per season, mirroring the recent trend of goalies like Jonathan Quick (10 years, $58 million) and Tuukka Rask (eight years, $58 million) cashing in big on one good season.

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  • Published On Sep 02, 2013


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