Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stanley Cup Goalies Have Had Their Ups and Downs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stanley Cup Goalies Have Had Their Ups and Downs

Article excerpt

TAMPA, Fla. * No team wins Stanley Cup without reliable goaltending, so Tampa Bay's Ben Bishop finds it laughable when he reads or hears criticism about Chicago's Corey Crawford.

Although the starting goalies in the finals series, which resumes Saturday night, have had their ups and downs this postseason, there's no question Bishop's Lightning and Crawford's Blackhawks wouldn't be here if they couldn't depend on them.

Bishop is 7-1 with a .937 save percentage in games following a playoff loss. He also closed out the Eastern Conference finals with a pair of shutout wins over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Crawford is better known and more accomplished, helping Chicago win the Stanley Cup two years ago. Now he has a shot at another after briefly losing his job during a tough first-round series for the 30-year-old, whose success Bishop has followed from a distance.

"He's a great goalie," Bishop said, looking ahead to Game 2 at Amalie Arena, where the Lightning will try to rebound from letting the opener of the best-of-seven series slip away in the closing minutes.

Bishop stopped 19 of 21 shots in Game 1, yielding both Blackhawks goals in a 2-1 loss in a 1:58 span of the third period.

Crawford gave up a goal less than five minutes into the game but finished with 22 saves to post his 42nd career playoff win three shy of the Blackhawks' record held by Hall of Famer Tony Esposito.

"Personally, I kind of looked up to him. He spent some time in the minors, just like I did," Bishop said. "Some people doubt him, but the guy just goes out there and wins. He's won a Stanley Cup. It's funny how some people still have questions on a guy who's won a Stanley Cup. And, now he's back at his second one."

Crawford is trying to become the first goalie to win two Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks. Overall, Chicago is aiming for a third title in six seasons. …

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