Hawks' Crawford: I have to play better
May, 22, 2013
By Scott Powers
Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty ImagesCorey Crawford has found plenty of support from coach Joel Quenneville.CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford said Wednesday he has to play better against the Detroit Red Wings despite the continued vote of confidence from coach Joel Quenneville.
Crawford made 26 saves in a 4-1 loss to the Red Wings in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal series on Saturday and 27 saves in Monday's 3-1 loss in Game 3. The Red Wings lead the series 2-1 with Game 4 coming in Detroit on Thursday.
Quenneville has been firm in his confidence for Crawford in recent days and hasn't said he deserves any blame for the defeats.
"I think he's always believed in me, but that's nice for him to back me up," Crawford said of Quenneville after Wednesday's practice. "I got to come in and play well. I have to give a little bit more. I have to play a little better, come up with a save in a key time to give our guys a chance to win."
Quenneville has been short and firm on expressing his support for Crawford since Monday's 3-1 loss.
After Monday's game, Quenneville was asked about Crawford's performance and whether backup goaltender Ray Emery was a potential starter for Game 4.
"We're not talking about that right now," Quenneville said. "[Crawford] is fine."
Quenneville was asked to assess Crawford's recent play at a press conference on Tuesday, and Quenneville answered, "He's been fine."
Crawford is 5-3 with a 1.81 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage in eight playoff games. He has stopped 205-of-220 shots in the playoffs. He and the penalty kill units haven't allowed a power play goal in 29 chances in the playoffs.
Crawford said he will approach Game 4 as he's done every game this season.
"I just focus like I have all year, prepare myself like I have," Crawford said. "Just go out there and play hard."