by Patrick Hoffman on 08/23/11 at 02:14 PM ET
As I linked to earlier this morning, I wrote a piece on how Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks and James Reimer of the Toronto Maple Leafs will be under a lot of pressure to have great seasons this year for their respective hockey clubs.
Although he submitted his answers to my questions just after I posted the story on TheGoodPoint.com, Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to share his thoughts on Crawford.
PH: In your opinion, why did Corey Crawford have so much success last season?
JR: He’d been preparing for this opportunity for a long time..he was probably in the minors a year too long so he was ready. He and the goalie coach for the Hawks have been together for many years so the transition to the NHL was easier because of that. He’s pretty laid back and that served him well.
PH: With his performance last season both in the regular season and in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, what do you think Crawford was able to prove to both the Blackhawks’ organization and the NHL?
JR: He proved his mental toughness. That laid back attitude can serve you well but in pressure situations things change and he proved he could handle the workload from a physical and mental standpoint.
PH: What are Crawford’s biggest strengths? Why?
JR: He’s very techinically sound. As good as most veterans in the league let alone young goalies. That comes from being with the same coach for nearly a decade.
PH: What are Crawford’sbiggest weaknesses? Why?
JR: He needs to react instinctively better. I think he’ll get better in shootouts, for example, when he plays with a little more on instinct. A little Marty Turco is not a bad thing.
PH: How do you think Crawford will react in being pushed by Ray Emery in training camp this season? Why?
JR: It is not going to affect Crawford one bit. He is the starter. Emery is fighting with Alexander Salak for the back-up job.
PH: What will Crawford need to do to make sure he maintains a straight head mentally that throughout the season?
JR: Learn from being in the league and facing teams a few times by now. Skaters are learning about him, he needs to do the same. And be a little less robotic.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
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