NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Los Angeles Kings at Chicago Blackhawks

The Soul Cannot Rest

This first appeared in our gameday program’s From The Editor before Game 4. 

For the first time in the Quenneville era, the Hawks have a playoff goalie controversy. Hard to believe, given how some people think around here. But whatever goalie issues the Hawks have had in the past have always resolved themselves. In 2009, Nikolai HarveyBirdMan grabbed the job from Cristobal Huet well before the playoffs. In 2010 Huet basically spit up the job to Antti Niemi, as much as Niemi taking it. Corey Crawford was well established as the starter in 2011. As wonky as Crawford got in 2012, Ray Emery was much worse and thus never an option. We all know about 2013, when Crow should have won the Conn Smythe but didn’t thanks to a narrative Pierre McGuire and NBC decided to pound for reasons that still escape me. Last year, Crow was really good until faced with immense pressure by the Kings and Antti Raanta was never an option either.

That brings us to this year. But the seeds for this year were sown before, and I can’t really figure out why. The organization certainly hasn’t pushed Crawford out in front of its marketing like others, and the fans in this town have never really warmed up to him.

Why is that? Are people still scarred from 2012? Because fans are supposed to love a redemption arc, and the fact that Crow was able to recover from that playoff outing and back it up with a Cup run should be that redemption story. Shouldn’t that have won everyone over forever?

Championships in this town seem to buy everyone else a lifelong pass. Look at Mike Ditka for fuck’s sake! How many members of the ‘05 White Sox, who were never as good again, faced this kind of scrutiny? I can’t think of one, but I’m not a Sox fan so feel free to let me know if I’m missing anyone. I’m not even sure Ozzie Guillen is a good manager so much as a good mouth, but I never heard anyone say that before he left the Sox.

Is it because of the L.A. series last year? Because no goalie could stand up to that pressure (Jonathan Quick certainly didn’t at the other end). Henrik Lundqvist, probably the best goalie of this generation, couldn’t either. Every time he looked up Martinez or Doughty were teeing one up from between the circles or there were two guys in his crease while Seabrook gaped vacantly and aimlessly. Are people really blaming Crawford for a Game 7 OT loss? You know where I think blame for that lies.

It can’t be because he’s a bad guy, because he most certainly isn’t. I doubt that fans care that he got a bit swear-y at the ‘13 parade. Hell, I bet most found it endearing. I also doubt most fans care that he got hurt at a concert, most likely when he was a bit drink-y. Again, most would probably find it endearing, as we’ve all been there, not matter how much the Hawks organization wanted you to be mad at him for it (and they did).

Crow has never hidden when he’s had a bad game. He’s never snapped at the press as far as I can remember. He’s gone about his job. His teammates love him. He’s even stood up and said how much he roots for Scott Darling. What’s the problem here?

I’m not here to say Crow should be in net right now. The decision is certainly justifiable. But Crawford will be needed again, I think. I’m not ready to buy into Darling as a certified starter yet. I was relieved that Darling started Game 3, only because I knew the atmosphere would be so poisonous for Crow and one goal would have seen three-quarters of the UC turn on him (at least).

My only conclusion is that with what is still a neophyte fanbase, and let’s face it, it is, when the Hawks lose most of the bandwagon fans just assume the goalie is to blame. It’s the easiest conclusion after all, and there aren’t many besides ourselves delving any deeper than that.

Crow isn’t the reason the Hawks lost Game 2. He isn’t the reason they were so far behind in Game 1. His team abandoned him in both for long stretches, and unlike his actions for all of March and April he couldn’t bail them out. No, he wasn’t good, but I just don’t get this push to get him out of town as quickly as possible.

Is it the money? I know once someone gets paid in this town it’s basically over for them in the court of public opinion. That’s just unfair. Crow didn’t hold a gun to anyone’s head to get his contract. It’s not like he’s ever dogged it. You want a goalie who did that, look no farther than Khabibulin, until it was time to play for another contract. He did it to the Hawks twice, in fact, in case you forgot he was a Hawk briefly last year which led to the whole Antti Raanta experience in the first place .

It feels like the Hawks’ organization would love to push Crow out the door too, even though it’s their mistake he got that money (though that’s not really a mistake). Which is weird considering the affection they usually have for anyone who helped bring a Cup home (oh, hi there, Rozsival and Handzus!). Color me bewildered.

  • Leroy Baxter

    I think the marketing department, and any marketing department for that matter, doesn’t know what to do with someone that doesn’t possess conventional charisma. He’s low key, doesn’t show emotion really. Flashiness or rage can push a narrative, and Crow has neither. He’s just a good dude.

    • thefearlessfreep


      Also, as has been pointed out earlier, Crow doesn’t make flashy saves and so his “highlight” reel is not as outstanding as maybe Quick, and his talents are not often hyped by the national media. If the Hawks win a game it’s often reported because of a great goal scored by Toews or Kane. Crawford is rarely given mention by the national media when they win unless he earns a shutout, and Crow is not that kind of goalie. He’s consistent and makes the saves he is supposed to make, which is all he needs to do with the team that surrounds him. Sure, he may biff one now and then but he’ll bounce right back and come up big later.

      Chicago fans are fickle and love to blame losses on the easiest target, especially, as Sam pointed out, the new fans. Ask what happened in game 1 and you’ll often hear that Crawford sucked. Well then Rinne was even worse, but you wouldn’t get that feeling from the media. You certainly won’t hear that Roszival blew his gap to allow the first goal or that the parade to the penalty box didn’t allow Crow much help. Making $6 million doesn’t help.

      Don’t know why the Blackhawk marketing department shies away from Crow. He seems like a goofy guy who I think would endear himself to most fans, the f-bombs notwithstanding. Then again maybe that’s why the marketing department doesn’t put him front and center.

      Crow will bounce back. And I would love to see him have a big game 6, so that, in the words of Lee Elia, he can shove it up everyone’s ass.

      • Emily

        “If the Hawks win a game it’s often reported because of a great goal scored by Toews or Kane. Crawford is rarely given mention by the national media when they win unless he earns a shutout”

        Kind of like Brazil with their soccer goalies. You’re always going to hear about their great offensive talent dating back to Pele and now Neymar, but you don’t hear about the goaltenders. If you don’t hear about them, it’s easy to scapegoat them.

        “He doesn’t make flashy saves”

        Reminds me of Robert Enke. He was a German goaltender who wasn’t manic like his German counterparts on the national team (Manuel Neuer sweeping keeping, Olivier Kahn looking like he’s about to murder people on the pitch or Jens peeing behind the ad boards during a game) so he was often overlooked by the press and fans. People called him a “goalkeeper’s goalkeeper” in that regard.

        Yes, that last one actually did happen in an equivalent of a Stanley Cup game. There’s video of it–never laughed so hard in my life.

  • Just the Facts

    I think Crow suffers from two disadvantages in public perception. First, he is a goalie that relies on position and technique to succeed. When he is on his game, his saves don’t look spectacular because he is where he is supposed to be. But fans love the “amazing” save and many of those come because the goalie is out of position and is forced to make an acrobatic save.

    Second, the national media have always presented Crawford as the lesser goalie when going up against goalies such as Rask, Quick, or Rinne. Even in series when Crawford’s head to head numbers were superior, it seems that every goal given up by Crawford is allegedly soft, but there is no mention of truly soft goals given up by the other goalie.

    Frankly, I am surprised that Q didn’t go to Crawford after last night’s 4th Nashville goal, not because Darling was bad, but just to light a fire. Also, it would have given Q a chance to see how Crawford responded in making the decision for the Game 6 goalie.

    • Jim

      I was wondering the same thing, going in after the 4th goal would have given Crow some reps. But I was mentally tuned out after the hawks again let in a goal again 1 minute after scoring one.

    • Babyhawk

      You are so right, during the WCF when we won the cup all doc and company could talk about was quick, how good hi is etc… Crow flew under the radar and that wás fine with me. I’m not a crow lover but he is the reason Hawks are in the playoffs, and the d has left him hung out to dry on more than one occasion

  • Jane Doe

    Maybe a phone commercial would make Crow more likable.

  • HossasPierogi

    I think your column overreacts to the situation. I feel the organization has high regard for Crawford and most of the fan base appreciates him, although there we always be meatballs. I think Crow was pulled in game 1 for reasons any coach would pull any goal tender — he was hit hard and the Hawks needed a momentum swing. And Darling was brilliant. Crow had more problems in game 2, and Darling has been great to good since then. There’s no more to it than that. No grand conspiracy.

    • Adam Smit

      Well said. I love Sam’s writing and hockey perspicacity, but half of his articles need a chaser.

  • fromheretoinfirmary

    Posted this earlier, but its more apt here. Interesting article by Lambert re: Crawford -> http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/how-bad-are-corey-crawford-s-playoff-problems—trending-topics-135325616.html

  • wreckinball

    I agree with first post. Crow was just not playing good enough to stay in there after game 3. IMO he seemed to be back too far in the goal which opened up the top of the net. Actually Rinne made a great save on Kaner last night by coming out just a little and catching Kane’s wrister with his shoulder. It was headed top corner of the net.

  • Hags

    I think it’s mostly a function of the “bandwagon fan” not having a more nuanced understanding to the game. I am one of the original bandwagon fans that hopped during Kane/Toews rookie years, and I have tried my damndest to truly understand the game (which thanks in large part to TCI I feel i have done). Many people havent made that same investment, and when things go wrong, the goalie gets the blame.

    I can’t help but think the weirdness towards Cro from the FO has to do with the money. If Darling can provide equivalent value in terms of play, then Crawfords 6 Mil becomes expendable, and would go a long way toward snot completely devastating the roster for next year.

    For me though, right now is the time. I firmly believe they should go to Crawford in Game 6. They have cover of a loss from last night to make a change as well, and what better confidence builder is there than winning a playoff series on home ice? if he spits it up early, you know Darling is there, and at least there is a Game 7 if need be.

  • Harry Longwood
  • Cluster_Puck

    If only I could combine twitter feeds..

  • T.M.

    For a supposedly “classy organization”, they really hung Crawford out to dry on the concert fall thing. I don’t even think Dollar Bill would have done that. The other thing that comes into play is that Scott Darling is “from Lemont.” Great storyline-hometown kid overcomes his demons and saves the team. And it can’t hurt to have a hometown kid starting so that it can be ” chevy: drive what kane, toews and darling drive.” Plus, you get more people asking “what is icing.”

    • Just the Facts

      The difference between the Crawford situation and other situations was that the mainstream media were breaking the story so the Hawks couldn’t manage it (translation — keep it secret). So they chose to have Crawford own up to it since there was no way of denying what happened.

      • flahawkfan

        But they didn’t do that to Kane when all of those photos of him in Madison surfaced, showing him drunk off his ass, which certainly wasn’t a secret. Yeah, that was the off-season and no, it didn’t get him injured, but the Hawks didn’t put him out in front of the media and make him explain himself. I’m not saying they should have done that (it would have been ridiculous to do so), but likewise, I didn’t see a reason to put Crow out there like they did. Maybe it was just me but I took that as the organ-I-zation saying, “You screwed up and got injured and fucked your teammates. You’re on your own, kid.” It’s not the way they normally operate and that’s what made it weird.

  • Lemmy

    It has become blogging cliche to claim that advocating for trading Crow is an idea that only meathead fans could support. This isn’t a popularity contest, and if you claim that Q is ever swayed by public opinion, you haven’t paid attention to Q’s decisions historically. Should we use Crow now? Probably; he’s currently the best goalie on the team. Is he a great goalie worthy of a $6m contract on a cap-strapped team? No.

    Look, I realize this site is more into Corsi than real-life hockey X’s and O’s, but the fact of the matter is the Hawks play a dzone collapse system that was designed originally to protect weak goaltending (mind you, Crow is not weak; that’s not my point). Because of the defensive system we play, we don’t need a 6 million-dollar player in that position. A capable 1-3 million dollar goaltender would be a better fit after this year given the cap issues at play.

    Frankly, if I were Stan and looking at this offseason, I would be looking to move Crow to a goalie-hungry team like Edmonton for prospects before moving a harder-to-replace piece like Sharp.

    • Patrick Bateman

      Nailed it.

    • TitanTransistor

      This argument would hold more weight if that defense you talk about hasn’t been abysmal for the majority of this season, and through much of the post-season last year.

      Crawford basically single-handedly dragged this team to the playoffs, especially through their wretched 2015 campaign, and he was pretty much the only reason the Hawks made it to the WCF last year.

    • Just the Facts

      Agreed that maybe he isn’t worth $6 million and given the salary cap situation perhaps a trade would be better for the team. That, of course, assumes the money will be used for resigning Saad & Kruger, and letting the younger players have their chance. If, on the other hand, they are going to use it to keep Sharp and/or to rent a bunch of past their prime vets for the year, I’d rather keep Crawford.

      Unfortunately, the pattern seems to be to keep the vets past their shelf life to the detriment of letting the younger players have a chance and develop.

      That said, I still disagree with many who want to throw out Crawford’s large body of work because he had a couple bad games. That doesn’t mean I disagree with giving Darling a shot, but I’m not ready to annoint him as the future based on a couple of games. Goalies are like hitters in baseball. When they first come up, they often do well. Then the league gets the “book” on the hitter’s weaknesses and suddenly the picture isn’t as pretty.

    • To Saad be the glory

      I didn’t realize a 33 yr old 16 goal scorer who makes 5.9 mil. and had one of the worst +/- on the team was that hard to replace. Thanks for the enlightenment.

      • Lemmy

        He’s not a 16 goal scorer. Just as Crow is not a 6 million dollar goaltender. Look, get rid of both for all I care, but this team is not goalie-reliant and we’re wasting space on Crow’s contract when we have 2 serviceable tenders in the org. It’s math.

        • To Saad be the glory

          Two serviceable tenders? Who would that be,Crawford and Leighton?Because no matter what system you think the Hawks play,to call Darling and Raanta serviceable after a few good games each is insane. To each his own.

    • flahawkfan

      This is pretty much where I fall. I have no problem with Corey Crawford. He was fantastic for most of this year and if he hadn’t gotten injured and fallen off for a while afterward, he might’ve been in the mix for the Vezina. But I’m used to the Hawks (of late, at least) relying on their D more than their goalie to shut down opposing teams. If that’s going to continue to be the model going forward, they don’t need to take a $6MM cap hit on a goalie. But if that’s NOT the model going forward, which it may not be, given how little the front office has done to improve the D this year, they need a goalie who’s more than adequate.

      If they can shore up the D and get it back to what it was, they should explore the idea of trading Corey. Given the need to re-sign Saad and Kruger, I don’t see that as a meatheaded opinion.

      But I do disagree with you on Sharp. IMO, they should already be exploring the idea of trading Sharp and his cap hit because he’s largely become a cherry-picker who’s nowhere near the two-way player he used to be. Not sure anyone will take him at this point but that’s the Bowman signing that baffled me the most when it happened.

  • Patrick Bateman

    Here’s a fun fact — Crawford has allowed 3 or more goals in his last 8 playoff starts. And I disagree that it’s only “new” fans that are saying Darling should play — I’ve been going to Hawks games for 25 years and simply believe Darling gives the team the best chance to win for many reasons. Generally, I feel like Crawford makes the saves he is supposed to but rarely stops shots he shouldn’t. I certainly don’t hate the guy, but I’ve never thought he was anything more than a slightly above average goalie.

    • TitanTransistor

      Fun fact, the Chicago defense has been hot garbage in Crow’s last 8 playoff games, and in several of Darling’s as well.

      • RMM

        Hot garbage that tied for the lead goals allowed in the entire league .

        • TitanTransistor

          And they can thank Crawford’s performance this season for that.

          • Just the Facts

            Yes, Crawford tied for the Jennings Trophy (and has another from 2013), and suddenly he has a couple of bad games and Darling is the Chosen One. I don’t get how everyone is willing to throw out the fact that Crawford carried them at the end of the season while getting peppered with 30+ shots per game (plus his Cup) because Darling has a couple of good games.

          • RMM

            Lets look at a real “hot garbage” defense.
            Last year Dubnyk of the Wild played for Arizona

            in 19 games he had 2.88 GA and a 916 save percentage

            This year with a not as good defense as the Hawks he has a 1.78 and a 936 and is a Vezina finalist .
            To say it is all Crawford thats responsible for the lowest team goals against just illustrates how little you know about the game.

          • TitanTransistor

            The Hawks have allowed a ridiculous number of shots against, shot attempts against, and scoring chances against per game all season, particularly in 2015.

            The defense in front of Crawford was abhorrent. He dragged this team into the playoffs despite the defensive play in front of him for long stretches, not as a result of it.

            There is no basis for argument – be it statistical or by the eye-test – that Crawford had good defense in front of him. It’s his SV% during the regular season that kept his teams GAA down.

  • bigtreina

    Crow should start tonight. Darling played well – maybe shouldn’t have given up the 3rd goal. But regardless, Crow is the horse you rode most of the season to get you here. He’s a competitor and it has to have killed him to sit the last couple. You paid the man to play big in big games. Tomorrow night, my frents, is a big game.
    Then again, if Darling loses a close one tomorrow night, Crow should be even more ready to step in and win one.

  • Preacher

    As for Sam’s question (“Why is that?” with regard to Crow’s reputation), it all comes down to the dominant perception, and how the national media perpetuates it. LA’s Quick is considered elite based pretty much on one stellar playoff run to the Cup when the Kings were the 8th seed that year. He’s been average since. But he’s considered elite. Mike Smith is STILL considered amazing because of his mini-run in 12. He’s never repeated that little performance either. Crow biffed it bad in 2012 and that has always hung with him. Had he not given up a big lead in game 4 of the ’13 run, he’d have won that Conn Smythe, and we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation. But the national media makes the narrative and to them, Crow is an average goalie on a team filled with talent.
    So, that’s why.

  • RMM

    If God forbid they lose at home tomorrow night 50 will start game 7 . Darling earned these starts with his play in Game 1 and his performance since . If they win tomorrow night the supposed “controversy” will be over . Crawford will start the series against the Blues or the Wild.

    He is the # 1 goalie on this team “despite the moron Millburys declaration, and has always been and will be this season until we lose or raise the cup again.

  • Jim
  • ballyb11

    Where do you get this, Sam?

    “It feels like the Hawks’ organization would love to push Crow out the door too…………”

  • Hockey Newbie

    I think Darling has been fine since he has played, but I feel like his first 2 goals were not good ones, and had CC given those up, chi fan would have been all over him. He seemed down early (sound familiar) on Forsberg’s shot off the face off, and was slow to get over for the wraparound. Have no idea what our D was doing on the PP goal as we just let Wilson get nice and confy in front of Darling.

  • Stockroom Snail

    Darling got a bit of the abandonment treatment early in the third last night…and we saw how that went. I give credit to the preds….when they’ve turned it on for stretches, they’ve cashed in. If the ‘Hawks had average goalie play this year and in these playoffs, they’d be in trouble.

    I think a good comparison for goalie love/hate is the QB position. Bears fans (and probably all fan bases) are incredibly dumb wind socks when it comes to players at these positions. And once a guy gets (for lack of a better term, though I want one) bad “momentum” about him (doesn’t get embraced), that snowball just rolls downhill.

    People aren’t independent enough to think for themselves so whatever noise is loudest they just join in on.

    • Stockroom Snail

      I have no data to back this up, but it seems to me that coaches turn on goalies super fast in the playoffs in general. Seems like the first domino to fall when stuff goes bad.

  • Oldfarthawkfan

    What amazes me is when Crawford is singled out as being overpayed. Well, if you look at goalie salaries this year he is sixth, tied with Cam Ward, who has won a Stanley Cup. The 5 above have not. Ryan Miller makes 6 million. Lets trade Kane for him and we save $4 million next year!!!. Quick is $200,000 less. The top 10 are all over $4.5 million. If you look at the goalies that make less, there MAY be 2 or 3 that have put together a season like Crow’s, but not many. If you want to dump Crawford, cause you want to keep Sharp or Seabrook, remember the Marty Turco experience? Remember he was brrought in at $1 mil., what a bargain he turned out to be. Maybe you would want Bryzgalov, he wouldn’t need much money, the Flyers are paying him plenty to stay away. Niemi?, that would be like getting Versteeg back. I think his psyche was permanently damaged when the Sharks blew that 3-0 series lead to the Kings last year, including a blow out at home in the last game. He was horrible for the Sharks this year. For those thinking that Darling can be #1 based on his body of work so far, there are too many goaltenders to mention that had a great start to their career and have flamed out, i.e. Steve Mason rookie of the year winner in Columbus that finally and a decent year for Philly this year, but was wretched after that rookie season

  • chichicagochi

    could really do without the white sox references that are under researched and clearly tainted with losingest-franchise-in-professional-sports-history fan tears… mostly because it has nothing to do with hockey, the blackhawks, and is divise to the indian fanbase

    • OMFS88

      Lol wut?

      • DJ

        The issue was whether championships give the people who win them for Chicago teams a “lifetime pass.” The easy subject of Ditka came up, but instead of referring to candidates from the Bulls (with six in the trophy case), the author — a Cub fan — mentioned the White Sox only to say that as a Cub fan, he had no clue one way or the other.

        Certainly nothing wrong with being a Cub fan, and discretion might be the better part of valor in declining to say something about something you don’t know about. But part of being a good journalist or essayist is stretching the mind to learn and grow. It’d make Sam’s already good stuff even better.

        PS to Sam — while the 2006 White Sox finished third, they won 90 games. Two years later, the last hurrah of that team won the Central, but ran completely out of gas doing so, and lost to the Rays in 4. So to say they were “never that good again”, while technically accurate, is a tad harsh.

        • tammorrow

          The Hawks fanbase has become a Cup=good, everything else=bad fanbase. While unrealistic as a whole, this is an uniquely talented team and maybe the expectation is ok as long as the failure does not drop the fans’ appreciations so low. Not winning the cup doesn’t put the team on the level of Edmonton or Buffalo or even Columbus.

  • Steve Sobel

    The issue is that Chicago sports media is terrible. Plain and simple.

    The beat writers, the commentators, pretty much everyone – they all suck.

    Collectively, throughout *all* Chicago sports, they’ve always ran the narrative of scapegoat because it’s an easy headline / story to write.

    On the Bears it was Grossman, Orton, Cutler (say whatever you want about any one of them – the Bears’ woes fall on more than just any one of their shoulders)

    On the Cubs or Sox it’s a given pitcher, typically, or a guy like Soriano etc who everyone just loves to hate.

    This has created an actual culture of scapegoating that has lasted as long as I can remember.

    Chicago sports media just can’t get enough of finding a punching bag, and because people think “reading sports articles” makes them knowledgeable about the sports they’re watching, it becomes a self perpetuating echo chamber of garbage.

    • Jane Doe


      Chicago media has a monopoly on the concept of a scapegoat.

      • Steve Sobel

        obviously not, but if you’ve ever paid any real attention to sports media in other towns, they’re not all this toxic.

  • Ned Braden

    I’d say it’s a combination of money and neophyte fan base. In this current Hawks era, conventional wisdom has been that the goalie position is the last place you want to spend money. Big contract given to Huet, dude underperforms in front of a team so talented he shouldn’t even matter, he gets yanked for a career journeyman and boom. When Niemi proved himself, we let him walk rather than giving him the paycheck. And we were rewarded with another cup in Crow. Who, now that he’s getting 6 mildo per, is a good place to point the ‘free up cap space’ finger since, conventional wisdom (for us) holds that goalies aren’t supposed to be worth that much. Darling coming in as a journeyman signed at league minimum or whatever he’s getting seems to prove this (over the course of just a handful of games so… for whatever that’s worth).
    Crawford is an amazing guy. Most people I’ve talked to at least love him for bringing us a cup, and as an overall good person. But those are the same sentiments we had about Niemi. In the grand scheme of things, the goalie is expendable. And with our insane forward/defensive depth of talent, that’s sort of understandable.

  • tammorrow

    One thing I’ve noticed about Crow is that he is pretty awkward in interviews. He doesn’t have a gushing personality. He’s pretty nice and polite, but his answers are generally curt and a touch stand-offish, so maybe it’s hard to take that kind of person and make them a front-facing icon for the organization, especially when you have so many other players who have national or even international recognition abilities.

    Personally, I don’t see an organizational coldness towards Crow. Plus…yeah. Some players are going to have to go. You can’t really market players that may not be there in 6 months. We found a dog when I was a kid and kept it for a week or so before my dad took it to the Humane Society. That week made it so much worse.

  • bennicksic

    I never have disliked Corey Crawford as a person but there are many reasons for Hawks fans not to like him as a player…

    1) The contract. There has to be something the public doesnt know about this. Like that Kane and Toews wanted him on the team prior to signing their deals. I cant think of any businessman who would praise SB for signing a guy to a 6 yr/$36 mil deal with a full year left on his original deal and immediately following a Stanley Cup win. Thats really poor business. He certainly would not have made MORE money than that after the 2013-14 season. The deal restricts the team capwise and will cost them players this offseason.

    2) The replacements. Ray Emery had similar numbers in 2012-13 and Darling this year. It seems that a good goalie (not elite and not elite money) is good enough on this team. I commented here last year (and got blasted on by people) for making the point that 8 goalies changed hands and I thought the Hawks would have been just fine with Ben Scrivens or Devan Dubnyk, both of which were traded for next to nothing and certainly didnt/dont make $6 million per year.

    3) The drinking. Yeah man, we all drink. I get it. But if I caused myself to not be able to do my career, there should be some people pissed about it. Anyone who finds this “endearing” as it costs the Hawks games, regular season or other, is an idiot. The speech was cool/funny, but that was after the Cup was won, not during a long stretch of important games.

    4) The press. Eddie O. and Pat are so pro-Crow despite anything. Gives up soft goals? Its the defense’s fault. Defense clears his multitude of rebounds? What a game by Crow. Say anything bad about Crawford as a fan? Youre a meathead. Mark Lazerus does that too.

    5) The delusion that CC should have won Conn Smythe. Remember Joakim Andersson’s Game 6 goal for the Wings from the blue line? How about the Bruins going gloveside 5 times in Game 4 when the Hawks were already down 2-1. The offense bailed him out and all was forgotten.

    I don’t hate Crow, but he is not this god that some have made him out to be. He is a good but flawed goaltender on the best team in the Salary Cap era.