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CHICAGO -- Corey Crawford has never been considered an elite goaltender. Even as the Chicago Blackhawks dominated the NHL this season, he wasnt the centre of attention on a team featuring Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Tuukka Rask was in net when the Boston Bruins blew a 3-0 series lead to the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010 and then had a great seat on the bench a year later when Tim Thomas led them to a Stanley Cup. With Thomas gone, the starting job was his. Now the young goalies are across the ice from each other in the Cup final, and in the spotlight, getting the kind of attention usually reserved for the best in the world. "Right now we have a battle of two goaltenders that are at the peak of their game," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. Its particularly a remarkable ascent for Crawford, who was once considered a weak link on the Blackhawks talented roster. During the regular season he was tied for third in the NHL with a 1.94 goals-against average and tied for fifth with a .926 save percentage as the Blackhawks captured the Presidents Trophy. In the playoffs his numbers are even better (1.73 and .936), and hes a major reason why Chicago is here, up 1-0 on the Bruins. "Obviously having a good goaltender can give the whole team a lot of confidence," defenceman Duncan Keith said. "Hes been great all playoffs and all season long. He definitely gives us that confidence, and its nice to see him get some recognition." Recognition starts with Crawford being respected as one of the better goalies in the league. But it doesnt end there. Now there is some buzz about Crawford being an option for Canadas Olympic team in Sochi in 2014, given the uncertainty surrounding the position and his strong performance this spring. There are lingering questions about Carey Price, Roberto Luongo, Cam Ward, Marc-Andre Fleury and others, but the fact that Crawford is even being touted as a possibility for Canada makes Toews happy. "I certainly think he deserves it," said Toews, who helped lift Canada to a gold medal at the 2010 Games in Vancouver. "I feel like, to get to that level, you need to have some sort of name in the media and have people know who you are. If they didnt really before, I think everyone knows who Corey Crawford is now and the influence and the effect hes had on our team all season and in this Cup run that weve had." Crawford, from Chateauguay, Que., has never played for Canada in international competition. He said he has never even got a look at a selection camp. That all could change, especially if he helps Chicago to a championship. "Im worried about winning a Stanley Cup right now," Crawford said. "Obviously that would be a huge honour. But right now there are other things to take care of." The Blackhawks are three victories away from hoisting the Cup and that has a lot to do with Crawfords stellar play. Coach Joel Quenneville praised the 26-year-olds consistency, and several teammates lauded him for being even-keeled amid chaos in the triple-overtime Game 1 victory. Being poised in that situation is a testament to how far Crawford has come. "Had to answer a lot of questions this year going into the season: What about our goaltending?" Quenneville said. "We said were very comfortable with Corey. Think hes got the capability of being a top goalie in the league." Yet for so long Crawford hasnt been thought of as even a top-10 goalie. Asked why he has constantly been overlooked, Toews and Crawford had the same response: "I dont know. You tell me." Rask hasnt had to overcome a lack of respect. Instead, his job has been to follow Thomas, who was far and away the top reason the Bruins won it all in 2011. Now the 26-year-old Finnish netminder is earning his own Conn Smythe Trophy talk. "Hes been rock solid all season, all playoffs, has been keeping us in hockey games a lot of nights," defenceman Dennis Seidenberg said. "Its nice to have him as your last backbone." Rask had to forget about past struggles, especially the playoff loss to the Flyers as a 23-year-old. Thats a distant memory now as hes at the centre of the Bruins playoff run. "I dont think it surprises any of us that hes at that elite level," Bruins forward Daniel Paille said. "I think we should consider ourselves fortunate that we have a goalie like that." The Blackhawks feel the same way, even as Crawford continues to go under-appreciated, like Antti Niemi, now a Vezina Trophy finalist with the San Jose Sharks who was in net for Chicagos 2010 Cup team. The lack of credit doesnt seem to matter much. "Hes a pressure player," Toews said. "I think we all know in this locker-room how good Corey Crawford is." Nike Air Max Plus Tn Ultra Rouge .C. -- After a listless first half, the Washington Wizards used a big third quarter run to beat the Charlotte Bobcats Bradley Beal scored 21 points and the Wizards used a 17-0 run in the third quarter to take control of what had been a close game and beat the Bobcats 97-83 on Tuesday night. Nike Air Max Plus Soldes . LeBron James and Chris Bosh didnt need any more. Williams scored 11 points in 10 minutes, Alan Anderson scored 17 points, and the Brooklyn Nets finished the exhibition season with a 108-87 win over the Miami Heat on Friday night. http://www.airmaxtnplus.fr/nike-air-max-tn-plus-ultra-rouge-noir.html . -- The Magic have their first victory of the new year. Tn Pas Cher En France .S. Open champion Justin Rose birdied the first hole with a blind shot he hit to a foot of the pin, and he stayed in front Tuesday until he completed a 4-under 67 for a two-shot lead over Jason Dufner in PGA Grand Slam of Golf. Homme Air Max TN Plus Ultra Bleu/Blanc . Numbers Game examines the deal that sees Michael Del Zotto and Kevin Klein switch places. The Predators Get: D Michael Del Zotto. Stoffel Vandoorne says he is undaunted by the challenge of partnering Fernando Alonso at McLaren next year as it will be a positive learning experience.Reigning GP2 champion Vandoorne has been confirmed alongside Alonso next year, with Jenson Button dropping back into an ambassadorial/reserve driver role. Despite it being ten years since his last world championship Alonso is widely regarded as the most complete driver on the grid -- but Vandoorne is relishing the opportunity to drive with the Spaniard.I think its something positive for me to race alongside Fernando, he said. Everyone obviously knows his qualities, hes a double world champion and a lot of people see him as one of the toughest drivers to beat. So I think its positive for me to come in and be his team-mate.Obviously well try to beat each other, thats normal because were racing drivers. But as well we have to make sure we push tthe team forward for next year.dddddddddddd. Were making big progress now and hopefully next year we can make another big step.Now his 2017 seat has been confirmed Vandoorne says he has been seeking out whatever advice he can get from McLaren.Asked if he was getting impatient waiting for 2017, he said: Yeah kind of, but I think also it is a good opportunity for me to have everything prepared very well for next year. The decision came quite early and Ive had a lot of questions for the team in the week after the decision and now every day there are bits I think about and speak to the management, speak to the engineers.Its good for me to spend time here at the weekends as well to make me feel comfortable. Whenever I have a question I can just go up and talk to them. Wholesale NFL Camo Jerseys Wholesale NFL Camo Jerseys Cheap NFL Autographed Jerseys Jerseys NFL Cheap Wholesale Jerseys From China Jerseys From China Cheap Jerseys Online ' ' '


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