In The Cage: Crawford Back On Track?
Every Monday during the season, goalie specialist and founder of The Goalie Guild Justin Goldman will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy goaltenders in NHL.com's weekly segment: "In the Cage." From updated goalie rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Goldman will be your fantasy goalie expert all season long.
No goalie was under more pressure to bounce back last week than Chicago's Corey Crawford. He was a thorn in his team\'s side at the start of their lengthy nine-game road trip, giving up 10 goals on just 55 shots in consecutive losses to Edmonton (Feb. 2) and San Jose (Feb. 10).
But he rebounded in a surprising way, starting with a 22-save effort in a 4-2 win against the Rangers on Thursday. A four-goal explosion in the first period from his teammates alleviated a lot of the pressure Crawford faced that night, and that allowed him to play in a more relaxed and confident manner.
That boost of confidence parlayed into a 6-1 win in Columbus (33 saves) two days later, as he once again benefitted from timely goal support. Less than 24 hours later, Crawford completed the weekend sweep with a legitimate "steal" when he stopped 29 of 30 shots in a 3-1 home win Sunday over the Blues.
With 84 saves on 88 shots in three straight wins, Crawford's certainly back on track – but for how long? There's plenty of fantasy value tied to his sudden surge, especially since he's playing a more controlled and conservative positionally-based style. But the upcoming schedule is not easy for Chicago; they host Detroit and Dallas, and then travel to Los Angeles and Anaheim for back-to-back road games.