Blackhawks

Crawford learns valuable lessons from Emery

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Crawford learns valuable lessons from Emery

Corey Crawford worked on his usual drills when he was going through his tough stretch earlier this month. Those helped, no doubt, as he allowed just two goals in his past two games, both victories.

But Crawford said what helped him more was what he learned from watching backup Ray Emery during that time.

I took a good look at Ray and I found he prepares so well. It feels like he gets into the zone before he even gets on the ice, Crawford said entering his third consecutive start. So I looked at that, took a look at my preparation and me and (goaltending coach Stephane Waite) talked about it, too. We felt it could be a little bit better so I was definitely preparing myself and thinking about the game a day before and before the game just going through situations in my head.

Apparently its worked. Entering Wednesday nights game against Los Angeles, Crawford has stopped 57 of 59 shots he faced in his previous two games.

Emery said he has a routine that he goes through on game days.

I just stretch, watch some video of the other team and get in my own head space, listen to some music. Im pretty quiet around the rink for a couple hours before the game, Emery said. Every guy goes about it their own way. You just choose a routine based on what works for you growing up.

Coach Joel Quenneville commended Crawford on how he handled his down time. Crawford said it was tough not playing; but considering his admiration and friendship with Emery, and the Blackhawks winning streak, he understood.

When the other guys playing well and youre winning, you want to be a good teammate and be a good presence around the room, Crawford said. The last thing we need is somebody moping about ice time and complaining. And its not in my character to do that.

The two goaltenders bounce ideas off each other often. Emery said the two have similar senses of humor, so most of the time the talk is about things other than hockey. As far as on-ice, Crawford said theres plenty he can learn from Emery, a former No. 1 goaltender himself.

It just feels like hes ready right from the start and hes focused. Hes in the zone before he even gets on the ice and gets his shots, said Crawford. We chat about all kinds of stuff. Its good, too, that were pushing each other on the ice. It only makes us better as goalies.

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

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AP

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.

Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.

"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.

"What was said this time around crossed the line."

The Capitals released a statement about the incident:

"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."

The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.

Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.

"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."

The Capitals released the full interview.

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

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AP

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.

Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.

Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:

After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:

Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident: