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Blackhawks Thu Dec 04 2014

Crawford Misstep Provides Opportunity for Raanta

Chicago Blackhawks After a long and successful Circus Trip where the Blackhawks went 5-1-0, they finally were welcomed home with 10 extra points in the standings, a surging second line and solid play from its goaltender in Corey Crawford, who in his last five games is 4-1-0 with a 1.60 GAA and a .937 save percentage.

And what's most impressive about this recent stretch is the quality of opponent which the Hawks are facing. It certainly isn't a portion of the schedule facing a couple of "tomato cans" as former Chicago Bear Doug Buffone so eloquently states on his radio show, but rather a run through some of the toughest teams in the league.

Outside of a 4-1 loss in Vancouver on Nov. 23, which came on the second half of a back-to-back night of play, not much has slowed down the Hawks in the last 10 games or so, and that's pretty much been the case coming into the season: injury and fatigue. Turns out, as of Monday night, you now can add a Rise Against concert to that list.

For those not familiar with the local punk rock band, Rise Against formed in the late-'90s, has seven albums, including its latest release, The Black Market, which was released this past summer. Here's a promotional video, featuring the song "I Don't Want To Be Here Anymore," which probably is what Crawford was saying as he stumbled on the steps.

Quote the Crow:

"I was at a concert the other day and was on the way out and missed a step and I didn't think it was that bad. I woke up the next day and it was worse than I thought."

It's probable alcohol was involved in his accident on the stairs, but Crawford refused to acknowledge it in his press conference Wednesday. What is known for sure is that Antti Raanta and Scott Darling will get their shot at filling in between the pipes to keep the Hawks' run on course.

Wednesday evening, Raanta did just that, stopping 40 of 41 shots to earn a 4-1 win over the Blues. Kris Versteeg and Patrick Kane continued to lead the way for the Hawks on that explosive second line, scoring one goal and two assists and two goals respectively.

Crawford will heal as the Hawks will look to continue to climb the Central and get into the halfway point of the season. In the interim, it could have been worse: Crawford could have broken his leg; fallen awkwardly on his side and dislocated his shoulder; or he could have hit his head and suffered a concussion.

Thankfully, it seems to be a minor injury. That's fortunate for the Hawks. Crawford should be thankful it wasn't worse or, God forbid, a Nickelback concert.

 
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