Playing in his 14th consecutive game, Crawford recorded 36 saves while backstopping the Chicago Blackhawks to a comeback 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks before a sellout crowd of 18,910 at Rogers Arena.
“You need to be a little bit more aggressive (against the Canucks),” he said. “You get a lot of point shots from the D-men and traffic and sticks in front, so I was just focusing on getting out there and taking away those deflections.”
Crawford kept the Blackhawks in the game after the Canucks took a 1-0 lead on a 5-on-3 power play goal late in the first period until Andrew Shaw and Marcus Kruger scored nine seconds apart in the third period.
“We haven’t played a low-scoring, tight game like that in the last couple of weeks,” said Crawford. “But I’ve said before we are never out of a game. We can all score goals, so everyone in this room was confident we would get one.”
With the Blackhawks on a difficult seven-game road trip, many observers are wondering when Crawford will get a break and new backup Antti Raanta, who was called up from the minors last weekend, will get his first NHL start. But Crawford, who has posted two straight wins after allowing three goals on just seven shots before he was pulled at the start of the trip in Colorado, welcomes his heavy workload.
He feels that it’s helping him get in a groove, although it has not always helped his goals-against average, which had risen in games leading up to Saturday’s contest.
“The little details almost come naturally, without thinking. ... Honestly don’t really count (the games),” he said.
But Crawford’s effort in a game in which he faced the goaltender -- Luongo -- who he could battle for a starting assignment with Canada’s Olympic team come February in Sochi, Russia, definitely counted as a good impression on coach Quenneville.
“I love the way he played,” said Quenneville. “It was nice to see him really strong in the net. He had a lot of bodies and shots and traffic when the game was on the line, and I liked his response.”