Crawford exorcised more than a few first-round demons with his convincing performances against the Minnesota Wild. The netminder was looking more like he did against Vancouver in April 2011 than Phoenix in April 2012, and he finally notched that postseason series victory. He posted a spectacular 1.32 GAA and .950 SV% in round one. He will need to be good to shut down the Red Wings' Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg who carried Detroit past the Ducks.
Dave Bolland will make his 2013 postseason debut when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Detroit Red Wings in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series tonight at the United Center.
Bolland missed the last three games of the regular season and the entire first round because of a lower-body injury. Bolland has 37 points in 49 career playoff appearances, he should certainly help the Blackhawks up front.
Crawford is coming off of a 25-save shutout in Game 4. The series shifts back to Chicago where the Blackhawks will look to wrap it up in 5. Crawford currently has the top ranked GAA (1.39) and SV% (.949) in the playoffs.
With Ray Emery out the Blackhwaks are obviously going with Crawford in Game 4.
Crawford was busy in Game 3. He faced 37 shots and turned aside 34 of them in the 3-2 OT loss. Minnesota was throwing everything at him and will likely do the same tonight. The Hawks are still the favorites to win the series but the Wild have made it tough on Chicago.
No Ray Emery means Crawford will definitely start Game 2.
Crawford played well in Game 1 allowing just one goal on 27 shots in the 2-1 Overtime win. The Blackhawks looked like the better of the two teams but Minnesota doesn't look like they're going to go down quietly.
The combination of Crawford and Ray Emery had the lowest goals against average this season. Crawford finished the season with a 19-5-5 record with a 1.94 GAA and .926 SV%. The Blackhawks are huge favorites for this series and in the Western Conference, making Crawford a great goaltending option in playoff fantasy leagues.
The Chicago Blackhawks' Stanley Cup playoff preparation began without two key elements, as goalie Ray Emery and Dave Bolland were nowhere to be found when Monday's practice began. They won't be anywhere in sight when the postseason begins Tuesday, either. Both will miss Game 1 against the Wild at the United Center, coach Joel Quenneville confirmed after the workout.
Bolland missed the last three games of the regular season and will miss game 1 of the Blackhawks series with the Wild. Michael Handzus remains the second-line center, flanked by Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp -- what had been Bolland's spot for most of the season.