So…I know there are so many poignant things I could post about from this week, even from just the last couple of days, but I’m trying to think what will be the least controversial and I come back to my beloved hockey team! We (okay, they) are not doing too well right now. They won the first game of the most recent series against the LA Kings and now have lost games 2-4. The team is imploding…or…something. Usually, I don’t watch the games. I’m a superstitious Sally and all last year during the playoffs the Hawks lost anytime I watched…so I stopped watching and I tried to stop caring about whether they won or lost. It didn’t work too well, obviously.
This year, people like to get all over my favorite player on the team. They like to tear him down, and while I don’t feel it’s my job defend #50, I do feel like fans, and reporters, should get off his case. I caved in and watched the game tonight. I’ve listened to news reporters bash Corey Crawford to smithereens during the last two losses and listened to the Blackhawks’ goalie on the verge of tears as he didn’t even try to defend himself and his playing, but single-handedly took all the blame and responsibility (even if his teammates didn’t expect him to). I’ll admit, since last May when I started to fall in love with hockey (long story) and the Blackhawks, I’ve had a soft spot for Crawford. Not sure why, but I always have. I’ve spent a solid year searching for his jersey (and finally found one, by the way)! Here’s the thing I noticed tonight: the Hawks played a two, maybe three person game.
I like Coach Q, he does a good job and he’s likable, even when he rarely smiles :-I . I’d like to believe he’s realized the same thing I did tonight: Toews (#19), sometimes Kane (#88), and Crawford (#50) were really the only three players playing the game. Rarely, if ever, did you see a defense-man in front of Corey Crawford and the goal. Occasionally, yes, Andrew Shaw (#65) would get in there, be reckless and actually give the Kings a dose of what they were throwing the Hawks, but he usually winds up in the penalty box for that.
Every other player on the ice seemed to be on another planet, though. As I’m writing this I’m skimming half a dozen articles posted that are goalie bashing my favorite player. I can’t comment on how Corey Crawford plays, I’ve never played hockey, I’ve only watched it. Even at that, I’m still a novice to the game. I do, however, recognize that he blocks 95% of the shots that come his way (you want to be picky? Okay, 90%) and that, when there are no other Blackhawks in front of you on the ice and the entire LA Kings team is barreling down on you with the puck, you cannot expect the goalie to block it consistently.
Win or lose in Game 5, I will continue to wear my Crawford jersey proudly (and I’ll be very upset if they trade him) and I will be a Hawks fan for a long time coming. So, let’s do this fellas! You have it in you, we know it, now you just have to stop playing the mental games with yourselves. Start messing with the Kings’ heads!