Crawford played every game during the Blackhawks’ run to the Stanley Cup last season and topped an outstanding regular season with an even stronger performance in the playoffs, recording a goals-against average of 1.84 and save percentage of .932 in the postseason. In 43 career playoff games, he is 25-17 with a GAA of 2.03 and save percentage of .926. Backup Antti Raanta played in 25 games in the regular season, going 13-5-4 with a GAA of 2.71 and save percentage of .897.
A rash of injuries and a post-Olympic slump created some challenges for coach Joel Quenneville this season. He appears to have gotten his team back on track — and himself, too, after being fined $25,000 by the NHL for an obscene gesture he made to an official in Game 1 against the Blues. Quenneville has the luxury of a deep, multitalented roster and knows how to motivate his players.
Like the Wild, the Blackhawks had a poor penalty kill during the regular season but have improved dramatically in the playoffs. In their six-game series against St. Louis, they allowed only two power-play goals on 29 attempts to top the NHL at 93.1 percent, with defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson and Keith leading the way. As for the power play, location is everything. Chicago is hitting on 25 percent of its attempts at United Center (two goals on eight chances) but has a woeful 8.3 percent success rate on the road (1-for-12).
Bryan Bickell-Jonathan Toews-Marian Hossa
Patrick Sharp-Ben Smith-Patrick Kane
Brandon Saad-Marcus Kruger-Andrew Shaw
Brandon Bollig-Michal Handzus-Kris Versteeg
Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Nick Leddy-Michal Rozsival