Craig Anderson, Jaroslav Halak and Corey Crawford lead the way so far in 2013

Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators

Craig Anderson, Jan Halak and Corey Crawford were not supposed to be at the top of the leader boards but they are. All 3 are a big reason their teams are off to great starts.

Craig Anderson is off to a start any goalie would be happy with. Anderson’s 3-0-1 are due in part to his fantastic save percentage at .975 leading to a league best 0.74 GAA and 1 shutout have Ottawa tied for first. Anderson has yet to give up more 1 goal in all 4 of his starts.

“I have to get out there and battle hard in practice and show the players that I’m ready to play,” Anderson told the Canadian Press after making 31 saves in a 4-0 win over the Florida Panthers. Senators head coach Paul MacLean, also told the Canadian Press “Craig has certainly showed that he’s prepared to play and he’s put in the work necessary to be ready to go and that’s the kind of quality goaltending we expect from him,”

It all started in Winnipeg were Anderson kicked aside 27 of 28 shots in a 4-1 Senators win. Then Craig pitched a shutout in the home opener stopping all 31 shots in a 4-0 Ottawa victory. 3 day later he beat Panthers again in Florida in stopping 25 of 26 shot in a 3-1 win.

Anderson only blemish so far is a shootout lose to the Penguins. Anderson stopped 33 of 34 shots, but was tagged with the loss

On the night rookie sensation Vladimir Tarasenko was showing the rest of the NHL what they have coming, Jaroslav Halak was showing the St. Louis Blues fans what they had hoped for. A game any number 1 goalie could be proud of a shutout. Halak hasn’t had to make many saves but yet was 1 of the 3 stars in 3 of the Blues 5 games. His 3-0 record with and a 9.03 save percentage to go along with GAA of 1.69 and 2 shutouts are among the league leaders.

Halak, who shut out the Detroit Red Wings in the season opener needed only to stop 14, earning the 15th shutout of his Blues career, only one shutout from tying Glenn Hall’s franchise record of 16 shutouts

The second game of the season turned out to be not so kind as Halak got the hook after yielding 3 goals on only 11 shots in 33 minutes of action.

After Coach Ken Hitchcock turned to Brian Elliot in the next game Hitchcock went back to Halak.The results were a 3-0 blanking of the Nashville Predators, avenging the only blemish on his record. That was the Predators first lose in regulation this season. It was his second shutout of the year “The goaltending was great,” T.J. Oshie told KCCI after the game.

Halak did not see that much either against Dallas however he was good when called on earning a 4-3 victory for the Blues. Halak stopped 20 of 23 shots improving to 3-0.

Corey Crawford started the season looking down at the other end and saw Stanley Cup Champion and Conn Smyth winner Jonathan Quick. Crawford didn’t blink and hasn’t looked back.

The Blackhawks started the season in Los Angles watching the Kings raise their Cup banner, this must have inspired Crawford. Crawford stop 19 of 21 shot besting Jonathan Quick and the Kings in a 5 to 2 win on opening night.

His second start of the season Crawford was spectacular picking up his second win of the season in the Hawks 3-2 win. Crawford was strong all game long but most so in a 3rd period were the Blues peppered him with 16 of the 34 shots they took that night.

The next game against Columbus, Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville went right back to Crawford who had a huge game. Crawford made 24 saves on 26 shots and told NHL.com after the game “I feel good, I feel focused, The puck looks pretty big right now. Also, everyone’s making the effort to play defense. It’s showing in the first bunch of games — guys are coming back to help out and that helps us get to offense after that.”

With back to back games it gave Crawford a chance to face the rival Red Wings. Crawford was simply brilliant in earning the first star of the game in making 29 saves in a thrilling Hawks 2-1 OT win in Chicago. “Focus has been a huge part of it so far,” Crawford told USA Today. “I thought I was focused last year, but I wasn’t quite there.”This year, I’ve paid a little bit more attention to that, especially throughout the game. Every play around the net, I’m ready and getting low for little things around the net so I don’t give up those little goals.” .

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford was named the Second Star of the Week for the start of the 2013 season. The netminder compiled five wins for the unbeaten Blackhawks, with a 1.78 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage. Crawford is 5-0 in the Blackhawks franchise record 6-0 start.

 

http://www.examiner.com/article/craig-anderson-jaroslav-halak-and-cory-crawford-lead-the-way-so-far-2013

 

Anderson41Craig Anderson, Jaroslav Halak and Corey Crawford lead the way so far in 2013