Corey Crawford (born on December 31, 1984 in Châteauguay, Quebec, Canada) is a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender for the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL).
Crawford was drafted 52nd overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks. He spent his pre-junior career playing for the Midget AAA Gatineau Intrépides before spending his junior career with the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).
He was the goaltender for the Wildcats in the 2003–04 QMJHL playoffs when they ousted the Rimouski Océanic in the semi-finals to advance to the President's Cup final, but they lost that series to the Gatineau Olympiques.
He currently holds the Wildcats record for lowest goals against average (GAA) (2.47 in 2004–05), most wins (35 in 2003–04) and is tied with Simon Lajeunesse for most shutouts in a season (six in 2004–05). He was twice named to the QMJHL's Second All-Star team (2003–04, 2004–05).
On January 22, 2006, Crawford made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks against the Minnesota Wild. He relieved Adam Munro in the third period, made seven saves and did not allow any goals. He recorded his first career start against the St. Louis Blues on February 2, 2006. He finished the evening with five goals allowed and 29 saves in a 6–5 shootout loss.
Crawford recorded his first career win and shutout against the Anaheim Ducks on March 5, 2008. He also recorded a strong performance against the Detroit Red Wings, stopping 45 of 47 shots in a 3–1 loss on March 11th.
On July 21, 2008, the Blackhawks re-signed Crawford to a one-year deal. He was recalled from the American Hockey League (AHL) on November 28th to take the place of Nikolai Khabibulin, who had been injured two nights earlier. Crawford made his first Stanley Cup playoffs appearance on May 24, 2009, in the second period of the Western Conference Finals against the Detroit Red Wings, replacing Cristobal Huet. He stopped six of seven shots before being replaced by Huet after the second period.
Later in the season, Crawford became the team's starting goaltender, replacing the veteran Turco. He had a two-game shutout streak later in the season and compiled a 176:09 shutout streak from January 7 to 15, the longest by a Blackhawks netminder since Tony Esposito from January 16 to 30, 1972.
From February 20 until March 5, 2011, he had an eight-game win streak, setting a new record for the longest such streak for a rookie. The streak was also one game short of the team record set by Glenn Hall.
Crawford earned his 30th win of his rookie season on March 28, 2011, at Detroit, becoming the first Blackhawks goaltender to reach the 30-win milestone since Jocelyn Thibault did it with 33 wins in the 2001–02 season.
In his first playoff series against the Presidents' Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks, he recorded a 36-save shutout in game five of the 2011 Western Conference Quarter-finals, marking the first time he recorded a shutout in the NHL playoffs, and the Blackhawks' largest margin of victory (5–0) in franchise history in a playoff game.
However, the Blackhawks ultimately lost the series to the Canucks in seven games when Alexandre Burrows scored the series-winning overtime goal for Vancouver.
On May 19, 2011, Crawford signed a three-year, $8 million contract extension with the Blackhawks. After the 2010–11 season, he was named to the NHL All-Star Rookie Team.
Following the 2010–11 regular season, Crawford entered the year as the Blackhawks' number one netminder. After starting the year off strong, he struggled for a majority of the season and was often benched in favour of veteran backup Ray Emery, who played extensively down the stretch.
However, Emery could not solidify his hold on the starter's role and as a result, Crawford reclaimed the team's starting goaltender position. After going 8–1–2 over his last 11 games, he was confirmed as the starter for the Blackhawks heading into the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.
In all, Crawford finished his second full season playing in 57 games and posting a 30–17–7 record with a .903 save percentage and 2.72 GAA with no shutouts. He became the first Blackhawks goalie to win at least 30 games in back-to-back seasons since Ed Belfour did it in the 1992–93 and 1993–94 seasons.
Entering the lock-out-shortened 2012–13 season, there were doubts as to whether Crawford could return to his stellar form from his rookie season. The team re-signed Ray Emery to give him a push for the starting job.
The Blackhawks started off the season with a point streak of 24 consecutive games (21–0–3) with Crawford getting off to a strong 11–0–3 start before struggling in a loss to the Colorado Avalanche in which he was pulled midway through the game after allowing three goals on 16 shots. He finished the season with a record of 19–5–5, with a 1.94 GAA, and a .926 save percentage with three shutouts.
Due to his efforts, Crawford was awarded the William M. Jennings Trophy (along with Ray Emery) who finished with a 1.94 GAA as well. Crawford was confirmed as the starter for the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs and started every game as Chicago eventually won the Stanley Cup, prevailing over the Boston Bruins in six games.
On September 2, 2013, Crawford signed a six-year, $36 million contract extension with the Blackhawks through the 2019–20 season.
Crawford started the 2014–15 season with a 12–5–1 record, however, he injured his foot on December 1, 2014, while attending a Rise Against concert. Due to this, he was expected to miss two-to-three weeks.
He was selected to play in the 2015 NHL All-Star Game, one of six players selected via fan-vote (the others being his teammates Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, as well as the Buffalo Sabres' Zemgus Girgensons).
On March 23, 2015, Crawford became the fourth goalie in Blackhawks franchise history to have four 30-win seasons. He and Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens, won the William M. Jennings Trophy for the 2014–15 season. He finished the season with 32–20–5, recording a 2.27 GAA, a .924 SV % and two shut outs.
After allowing nine goals in two first round playoff games against the Nashville Predators, Crawford was benched in favour of rookie goaltender Scott Darling, who posted three wins and one loss against the Predators. He relieved Darling in game six of the series after the Predators scored three goals in the first period. Crawford stopped all 13 shots he faced en route to a 4–3 win to take the series.
Crawford was named the starter over Darling for the second round against Minnesota and started all four games in the second round sweep over Minnesota, allowing 7 goals in those 4 games. He also performed well in the following round versus the Anaheim Ducks, leading Chicago to a come-from-behind four games to three series win.
On June 15, 2015, Crawford collected his second shutout of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs in a 2–0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals to give the Blackhawks their third Stanley Cup in the last six years. The win was also the second Stanley Cup for Crawford in his career.
During the 2015–16 NHL season, Crawford appeared in 58 games for the Blackhawks. He posted a 2.37 goals-against average, a .924 save percentage, 35 wins and seven shutouts. In March 2016, The Blackhawks announced that he would miss an indefinite amount of time due to an unspecified upper-body injury.
Crawford finished the year with a career high 35 wins and tied his career high save percentage at .924 and also had a career high seven shutouts (which also led the NHL among goalies).
He broke Tony Esposito's franchise playoff record for wins, with his 46th playoff win after stopping 29 shots in a 3-2 Game 2 victory over the St. Louis Blues. The Blackhawks would be eliminated from the playoffs by the Blues in seven games.
On December 3, 2016, Crawford underwent emergency appendectomy surgery in Philadelphia on the morning before a road game against the Flyers. He returned to the Blackhawks lineup on December 23, 2016.
Regular season and playoffsEdit
- 2003–04 QMJHL Second All-Star Team
- 2003–04 QMJHL Telus Defensive Player of the Year
- 2004–05 QMJHL Second All-Star Team
- 2010–11 NHL All-Rookie Team
- 2011 NHL Star of the Week of Feb. 20–27
- 2013 NHL Second Star of the Week of Jan. 20–27
- 2012–13 William M. Jennings Trophy (with Ray Emery)
- 2013 Stanley Cup Champion
- 2015 NHL All-Star Game
- 2014–15 William M. Jennings Trophy (shared with Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens)
- 2015 Stanley Cup Champion
- 2015 NHL First Star of the Week of Dec. 6–13
- 2016 NHL Second Star of the Month of January 2016
- 2016 World Cup of Hockey championship (with Team Canada)
As a native of Châteauguay, Quebec, Canada, Crawford speaks both French and English fluently.