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Crawford's slump ill timed

1/26/2011

For a team that has trouble playing 60 minutes on a consistent basis, the last thing the Chicago Blackhawks need is a goalie slump.

Corey Crawford has been off his game during his past few starts, and Tuesday’s performance in a 4-2 loss may have been his worst in a while.

“They didn’t have very many chances tonight but it seemed like when they did, they scored,” a dejected Crawford said after the game. “That pretty much just summed up the night right there.”

It’s hard to blame Crawford for much of anything, considering he’s been a savior in his rookie year in the league. He stepped in for a faltering Marty Turco and whispers of a Calder Trophy have been heard lately. But after a couple weak goals against Detroit and Philadelphia this past weekend, the last thing anyone wanted heading into a five-day break was another bad home game.

“It just seemed like nothing was going my way tonight,” Crawford said. “At the end, it probably wasn’t one of the better ones I’ve played this year. I’m going to use this break to get some rest and come back strong.”

Crawford’s night started out with a bad short side goal given up to Marty Havlat, and it ended with a sprawling attempt to stop a puck which got by him, to the end boards, but eventually found its way into the net.

“First one I played it bad,” Crawford explained. “I slid even before the shot came. The last one I lost. I went for a swim there and lost the puck.”

Crawford has been excellent at plugging all the potential holes. Very few pucks have been able to squeak by -- until recently. The Hawks can’t rely solely on their rookie netminder to lead them to the playoffs but hopefully for their sake, if this is a slump, it ends with the all-star break.

Otherwise, the Hawks have another problem to add to their season long list.