Ask a Pro with Corey Crawford
This ask-a-pro interview was originally published in the InGoal Newsletter, sent to thousands of goalies around the world every Monday. If you want access to exclusive content like our ask-a-pro interviews, why don’t you subscribe? It’s free!
InGoal goes inside pro locker rooms every week to take your questions to the best goalies in the world. This week we spoke with Chicago rookie Corey Crawford. If you want to ask a pro a question this week just make sure you are a subscriber to our free newsletter.
“The hardest part is probably just the fact that you’re not playing in the NHL. That’s the hardest thing – to watch NHL games once in a while or see the highlights – that part, just seeing those games every day and then knowing you’re still in the minors and trying to work your way up thats probably the hardest part. To do the travel too.”
InGoal Follow-up: “Big difference from there to here?”
“Oh my God it’s crazy.”
InGoal Follow-up: “Give me some examples 3 games in 3 nights, busses…?”
“3 in 3 yea, games are a little more spread out here but no bus rides in the NHL that’s the thing. You know the bus sometimes, I remember when we were in Norfolk it could be 11, 12 hour bus rides.”
InGoal Follow-up: “So if your guys here complain about having to take an extra flight because of the snow you kind of laugh?”
“Ah well, I think when guys have been around here for a bit they kind of forget maybe what it was like in the minors you know and you’re so used to the travel up here that when you do get something that’s maybe a little bit different or a little longer then maybe you’ll see some guys complaining. It’s just a lot harder in the American league.”
I’d probably agree with it. The American league is a lot faster you’re playing with pretty much men – you’re stepping in and playing with guys that have been around and played usually in the NHL so that jump is obviously – I think – is obviously a lot bigger than American league to NHL because – there’s a difference, there’s a difference but there’s not as much as junior to American league.
InGoal reader Richie Rich asks, “How did you prepare mentally going into the pros and knowing that you had to wait a couple years before you got the chance to play (and perform well)? And what did you, if at all, have to change improve in your style when transitioning from Juniors to the Pros? ”
You just gotta, for me personally it’s about experience so…I thought that the more I played and the more I saw the players and the teams then the experience I gained and the better I felt – the same with the NHL I felt at first when I came up to the NHL I felt it was still a lot faster, the shots were maybe coming off a little bit quicker – it’s just a matter of experience for me.
“I’m always making adjustments – little adjustments – The way I play screens or point shots – I get a little bit lower and try and look around a bit.”
“Another one is on scrambles making sure everything is one the ice . It seems like shots come quick and when guys get chances they get rid of it quick so your first thing is try not to gie those goals that go under you – you want to keep the ice sealed that’s probably number one.”
“Every shot in practice is a reaction drill you know but teaching – there’s some you can do where you’re facing maybe behind the net and you spin around and you have a guy maybe top of the circle taking a slap shot as soon as you face him – as soon as he sees your eyes he’s shooting.”
“Or you can do on your stomach, get up and as soon as your skates hit the ice the guy is shooting.”
InGoal Follow-up: “Do you do that kind of stuff with Stephane [Waite, Chicago goalie coach] at all?”
“Once in a while but we do more technical things cause we’re seeing so many shots in practice we just try and keep our game in tact when we have time to go with him.”
InGoal reader James Madara asks, “How long did it take to find his car at O’Hare after coming back from Philly Once they won the Stanley Cup?”
“Not long, I got a ride.”
InGoal Follow-up: “James seemed to have inside knowledge…”
“They’re pretty good to us. They warm our cars up and brush them off.”
InGoal Reader felmtrev asks, “Why do you choose to have your pads straight?”
“That’s because there is no break. I’ve worn it like that since junior. I find when I make saves and it hits my body it will often fall in what we call the triangle (former by the pads closing out in front of him) and stay stuck in there and that will maybe get some whistles for you and I like that. And when I’m down sometimes I will flair out instead of having my knees together and that makes me a lot wider. If the guy has a hard shot it can squeak through the 5 hole but it’s just something for the shooters, when they see that they think it’s covered.”
InGoal Reader Jessica Knight asks, “What are you learning from Marty Turco?”
“Definitely battle and puckhandling. He is probably one of the best at it in the league. He’s got great reflexes and he is so calm in the net. That’s a guy with a lot of experience and he plays the puck extremely well, that’s’ another thing I can learn from him. I felt like I was pretty good in the American Hockey League. I think at this level it is a matter of confidence first, to go out there and be confident enough to move it. I haven’t broken that level yet but I am still working on it. But we have a lot of great defensemen so I don’t think I have to do too much back there.”