Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/13/12 at 11:32 AM ET
from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,
Still sporting perhaps the best core of players in the league in Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, the Hawks are again in a position where seemingly tweaks more than an overhaul are needed to catch the Kings.
Any comparison between the Hawks and the new champs starts with the goaltending. If Corey Crawford had had the kind of postseason Quick had in capturing the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs, it could have been the Hawks amassing ticker tape and plotting a parade route.
Quick was among the best netminders in the league during the regular season and as a result is a candidate to win the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goalie. He didn’t let up in the postseason and was the difference as he out-dueled future Hall-of-Famer Martin Brodeur.
Crawford, on the other hand, was wildly inconsistent and gaffes during overtimes against the Coyotes helped sealed the Hawks’ fate. It’s not likely the Hawks will look to replace him. Instead, they likely will focus on getting better in front of Crawford and counting on the Montreal native to take another developmental step to turn into an elite goalie.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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