Corey Crawford among Blackhawks’ World Cup of Hockey selections


Corey Crawford among Blackhawks’ World Cup of Hockey selections

DETROIT — Corey Crawford has won two Stanley Cups and is having one of the best regular seasons of his career. On Wednesday his work earned him a spot on Team Canada.

Crawford was chosen for Team Canada and several of his Blackhawks teammates were named to their respective countries’ squads when World Cup of Hockey selections were announced Wednesday.

The first 16 players were named to each team on Wednesday. Team rosters will be completed no later than June 1 for the tournament, which is slated to take place from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1 in Toronto.

Crawford, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith were named to Team Canada, while Patrick Kane was named to Team USA.. Other Blackhawks heading to the World Cup of Hockey are Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov (Team Russia), Niklas Hjalmarsson (Team Sweden), Marian Hossa (Team Europe) and Teuvo Teravainen (Team Finland).

“We have a really young, talented team, and I feel like I'm almost the oldest guy there,” the 21-year-old Teravainen said with a laugh. “It’s fun. We have a fun group of guys there, and I’m pretty excited.”

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A good portion of the Blackhawks will be in Toronto for this tournament, while the remaining Blackhawks will participate in training camp, per usual. The World Cup of Hockey will keep the Blackhawks busy, but that’s fine with them and coach Joel Quenneville, who is assistant coach of Team Canada.

“I think it’s exciting,” Quenneville said. “It’s a privilege for the guys who get a chance to play in a great environment on a very competitive stage, and it’s a short tournament so it has to be exciting for these guys to get the privilege to represent their countries. Best players in the world, get to play among them, I don’t see it being an issue. I think guys will be excited about it.”

Blackhawks not going to 'freak out' about 0-2-1 start

Blackhawks not going to 'freak out' about 0-2-1 start

The Blackhawks wanted to get off to a strong start this season because they know how hard it is to climb out of a hole in the Central Division. Last season was proof of that.

Well, they've picked up only one out of a possible six points through three games and are one of three teams still searching for their first victory of the season. But they're not going into panic mode just yet.

"We know there's things we have to improve upon," Jonathan Toews said. "Jeremy [Colliton] always talks about doing the right thing and over time eventually you're going to get results. I don't know if we can say we're doing things the right things that we want to and we're playing complete games right now, so even having said that, midway through the San Jose game and even against Winnipeg we were in a position to take control of the game going into the third period and we let teams back in. So I think there's a lot of ways we can play better.

"But having said that we're in those games and giving ourselves a chance to win. Obviously that's not good enough, but we're not going to freak out and say, 'we've got to start winning games.' Of course that's the goal, we wanted to get two points the other night."

The quest to pick up their first two points of the season doesn't get any easier for the Blackhawks on Monday night. The Edmonton Oilers are coming to town with a 5-0-0 record, and they're clicking on all cylinders. They have the second-best power play unit (41.2 percent), second-best penalty kill percentage (94.1), the NHL's leading point-getter in Connor McDavid (12) and leading goal scorer in James Neal (seven).

The Blackhawks know at some point they have to start stringing together some wins, but they're not living and dying by the standings right now because everything looks out of proportion. They're focused on the process and putting together a full 60-minute effort.

"It's always magnified at the start of the year," Colliton said. "Your special teams, you got [teams] with 100 percent PK, you got [teams] with 40 percent power play, and all the little things they look way bigger than they are. Would be nice for us to get a win, get some positive feelings but any three-game window among the 82, it's not going to be looked upon as closely as this one.

"So again, we've just got to focus on playing hard, playing the game the right way, do the right thing time and time again and we'll get the results." 

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Corey Crawford to start in goal for Blackhawks vs. Oilers

USA Today

Corey Crawford to start in goal for Blackhawks vs. Oilers

Corey Crawford will start in goal for the Blackhawks when they take on the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night. He's 0-2-0 with a 4.63 goals-against average and .875 save percentage this season.

In 18 career appearances against the Oilers, Crawford is 9-7-0 with a 2.53 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and one shutout. 

The decision is a little surprising, given how well Lehner performed on Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets and what his career numbers are against the Oilers. In eight starts vs. Edmonton, Lehner is 5-1-2 with a 1.86 goals-against average, .943 save percentage and one shutout.

"We're going to continue to ... both guys are going to get in," coach Jeremy Colliton said after Monday's morning skate. "They're both going to play. I'm not going to give you the road map, but today it's Crawford and we'll go from there."

The Blackhawks are seeking their first win of the season (0-2-1) against an Oilers team that's 5-0-0.

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