No player has been more pivotal in the Blackhawks’ turnaround than goalie Corey Crawford. But he insists he’s still learning on the job.
“The more teams I play [and] the more I see the other players, you get to know their tendencies,” Crawford said. “The more I know that, the better off I am. The more experience I get, I just think I get better.”
Crawford has won nine of his last 12 starts, and one of those losses includes the time he replaced Marty Turco in an ugly defeat to the Avalanche on Dec. 13.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has had nothing but praise for the 25-year-old netminder who has continuously put himself in the right position.
“He finds a way to be square and take up some quality net,” Quenneville said.
And he’s learning fast.
“I remember a couple of their guys, what they do,” Crawford said after defeating the Kings for the second time this season. “I definitely take stuff in [regarding] what their tendencies are.”
To Crawford, learning on the job beats trying to watch and learn.
“It’s nice to see and be in a game and not just kind of know what they do from TV experience and watching them work,” Crawford said. Good boys
The Hawks committed one minor penalty in their consecutive wins over the Kings and Red Wings. In Friday’s game against the Wings, the Hawks were not assessed a penalty for the first time this season.
The Hawks’ penalty kill has struggled, so their discipline has been crucial.
“If you keep your stick on the ice, there is no reason to take those penalties that are easy to be called, whether it’s a hook or hold,” Quenneville said. “Going hard to the puck area that’s what we want, but certainly staying out of the box is something we’ve been emphasizing. That’s something we’ll continue to work on.
“If it’s a penalty, we don’t mind taking good ones, but the needless or careless ones can change the momentum of the game.”