I don't see how you can compare the two situations. You have Leighton and Anderson in that season who were both in their early 20s. 22 for both I think. As a goalie, that's much less mature than where Crawford is now at 25 soon to be 26 later this month. Ask any of the so called expert analysts in the NHL and they'll tell you that the ages 26-28 are the make or break years for a goalie. It is now time for Crawford to get his chance. Crawford isn't going to have his confidence shaken by being "rushed" into a situation where he'll get shelled like Anderson and Leighton. The Hawks are far too good of a team to get shelled game in and game out like the Hawks' teams of those years. Any goalie would have been shelled if he were put out on the ice with a team who was putting guys like Calder, Zhamnov, Daze and Sullivan on the ice as their elite players. Need I remind you of the shitty teams in front of Khabibulin in his first couple of seasons on the Hawks. I remember a 9-1 or 9-2 ass beating from the Stars in his first season. This is Khabibulin, a Stanley Cup winning goaltender. What would shake Crawford's confidence the most would be to give him little playing time. He's obviously shown some resilience over the years with the media/the Hawks saying that he was "the guy." Then, he proceeds to not make the cut over the last few years. That will shake a goalie's confidence much more. There are 55 games left in this season. I say give Crawford somewhere between 30-40 of those starts. I think that could only benefit the Hawks and Crawford in the long run. One final thing. You said something along the lines of Turco not playing THAT bad. Very true. However, he isn't playing THAT well either. Having Turco on the bench with his 1 million and some change contract is a hell of lot less frustrating than seeing the 4-5 million dollar disaster that was Huet riding the bench last season.
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As a goalie myself (beer league haha), I completely agree with you on the subject of having Crawford as a starter THIS year... at MOST, maybe split the games between him and Turco... 2 games of being peppered and letting in questionable goals, and his confidence will be shot.. for a few games forsure.. the mental side of things for a goalie is in fact the hardest part... just look at carey price in montreal for example, as long as he had someone sitting on the bench, who he knew could just as easily be starter, he was always nervous about letting in those bad goals, and being pulled in favor of Halak... now that Alex Five Hole Auld is there, look at Price's play... it was all in his head. Brett Hull said it best; "I'm not dumb enough to be a goalie." ;) great article.