It may not be a completely perfect season, but for the Chicago Blackhawks, it’s pretty darn close. Facing off against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday night, Chicago’s Corey Crawford got his team a shutout with a 1-0 victory; and extended their winning streak to 18 games. It was Crawford’s first starting since February 12 after sustaining injury. But if this team’s proven anything, it’s that their goalie is just a part of their winning formula; and any in their talented lineup can get the job done.
It wasn’t Crawford’s first game back after his upper body injury; he stepped in on Friday as Ray Emery’s backup when Chicago played San Jose. It was the fourth game Emery had started in Crawford’s place, and his fourth win. But Crawford showed little signs of rust or being out of practice. Even though the only goal put on the board was Andrew Shaw’s in the second period, the Blue Jackets put Crawford to the test, especially in the third when they really came on the attack, trying to finally get a win against the Blackhawks.
But that’s something that hasn’t happened since February 18, 2011. Since then, Chicago has won each of their last nine meetings. Doing it now will prove to be harder than ever, as Columbus sit at the bottom of the league with only 12 points, and the Blackhawks hover around the top with 33. The Blue Jackets will look to snap their losing streak when they take on the Dallas Stars on February 26; while Chicago will look to get even more points when they play the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.