Corey Crawford is the Rodney Dangerfield of National Hockey League goaltenders. For you younger readers, that simply means he never gets any respect, both nationally and even from a portion of his own fan base in Chicago. During the 2013 and 2015 runs to the Stanley Cup there were some Blackhawks fans who wanted to see Crawford benched even though he could have arguably won the Conn Smythe in both of those years.
The NHL Network has announced their top 10 goaltenders and they have left off the Blackhawks All-Star net minder. This is a bit surprising, but really shouldn’t be considering how many national pundits have believed for years that Crawford is just a product of a good team in front of him.
Top 10 goalies, per @NHLNetwork:— Ian McLaren (@iancmclaren) August 7, 2017
It is hard to argue with their top three of Carey Price, Braden Holtby and Sergei Bobrovsky, the last three Vezina Trophy winners. Matt Murray at number four is a bit of stretch considering the small sample size and his issues staying healthy.
Devan Dubnyk has been one of the best regular season goaltenders the past couple of years, but has yet to make a big impact in the postseason. Jonathan Quick? What is this 2014? Cam Talbot has had one good year as starter with the Oilers, hardly worth ranking him ahead of the proven Crawford.
Henrik Lundqvist certainly belongs on this list. Martin Jones has had two very good years as the starter in San Jose, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016. Pekka Rinne had a tremendous run during the playoffs last season and a great career, but he has been plagued with inconsistency over the past couple of seasons.
The NHL Network has Crawford ranked 13th overall, which is laughable. Even their explanation says that he should be in the top 10.
An elite goalie for the past several seasons, Crawford, 32, was his consistent self in 2016-17. He won 30-plus games for the sixth straight non-shortened season and had a .918 save percentage, which is also his career average.
"What can you say about Crawford? He's a two-time Cup winner, a proven winner," Weekes said. "He's a much bigger piece than the Blackhawks give him credit for, with all the other talent on the team.
So if Crawford has been elite and was his “consistent self” last season, why is he ranked lower than Jonathan Quick, Cam Talbot, Cory Schneider and John Gibson?