It’s no easy chore to stop Connor McDavid.
In a Saturday night battle between the Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks, McDavid found himself in yet another prime scoring chance, but goaltender Corey Crawford wasn’t ready for the young sniper to find the scoresheet.
With Edmonton holding a 1-0 lead in the opening minute of the third period, Oilers forwards McDavid and Patrick Maroon found themselves on a rare odd-man rush against the Blackhawks defense. Maroon quickly slid a pass to an open McDavid, but Crawford was ready to make his first big stop of the final stanza.
For prospective NHL netminders, this is exactly how a goalie is supposed to react to such a play.
After the breakdown at the blue line, Maroon found himself with plenty of time and space, but realized that his prolific linemate was open on the far side of the net. His pass is perfectly flat and sets up McDavid for an almost assured goal, but Crawford read and timed the play perfectly.
As the pass cuts across the crease, Crawford keeps his body square to the puck, sliding along with it. As McDavid loads for the shot, Crawford ensures the lower part of the net, as he keeps his pad parallel to the ice. McDavid doesn’t see any mesh, as Crawford’s positioning blocks the net entirely.
Unfortunately for Crawford and his teammates, the Oilers would go on to win the game 3-1, with McDavid notching an empty-net goal to seal it. The Blackhawks’ five-game winning streak ended, while the Oilers began a new three-game winning streak.
Feature photo courtesy Emily Riness |Flickr
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