Both in Chicago and across the country, there is little debate who the biggest NHL All-Star snub was this season – Corey Crawford. The Blackhawks goaltender is not only having a strong season, but he’s joining some elite company in franchise history.
Sunday night, Crawford once again carried the team through an uncommonly slow offensive stretch. Through the first period, the Blackhawks couldn’t get much of anything done, all while Crawford fought off one Blues shot after another.
By the end of the night, Crawford had once again held his opponent without a goal. Something that has become almost a regular thing in the United Center.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Crawford’s league-leading seven shutouts is two better than anyone else. With all of them coming at home, he’s the first Blackhawks goalie to post that many shutouts in Chicago since the best goalie in franchise history.
Crawford has registered all of his shutouts this season at United Center. The only other goaltenders in Blackhawks history to post at least seven home shutouts in one season are Tony Esposito, who had nine in both 1969-70 and 1971-72, and Charlie Gardiner with seven in 1933-34.
This has been Crawford’s best season by far. The seven shutouts this season matches Crawford’s career shutout total before this year.
Corey Crawford— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) January 25, 2016
7 shutouts this season* (41 starts)
7 shutouts in previous 4 seasons (196 starts)#Blackhawks
*Most since Niemi (7) 2009-10
While Crawford was an All-Star snub, the two-time Stanley Cup champion could likely use the rest that comes with the break. The Blackhawks have one more game before the All-Star break. After Tuesday’s game, Crawford and his teammates will have a week off before their next game.