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updated: 1/23/2013 7:42 PM

Crawford's sharper focus already paying dividends

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  • Goalie Corey Crawford has impressed Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville early this season. "He has an appetite to get back to that top level in the league of top goaltenders," Quenneville said about Crawford.

      Goalie Corey Crawford has impressed Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville early this season. "He has an appetite to get back to that top level in the league of top goaltenders," Quenneville said about Crawford.
    Associated Press

 
 

So far, so good for Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford.

Crawford is off to a 2-0 start and is making good on his vow to be a more consistent goaltender.

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"He's had a nice approach," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "Over the summer we talked about it that guys coming off a top rookie season, it seems like that second year is kind of tough. All the top goalies that had really strong rookie years it seems that the expectations are there the following year. I'm not saying he wasn't at the same level, but it was a challenging year for him.

"He has an appetite to get back to that top level in the league of top goaltenders. He wants to play, and I think we've seen some good improvement right from the start of training camp here. When I say improvement, he's ready to start the season and take that responsibility."

Crawford said after beating the Blues that his preparation is better this year along with his focus.

"I feel really good," Crawford said. "I said last game (at Los Angeles) I was really focused and I was able to carry that into this game. My preparation has been a little bit better this year. It's just the little things that are helping."

Crawford credits his defense and forwards for making him look good.

"Our forwards did a great job (Tuesday) of coming back and helping out our defense with back pressure," Crawford said. "Our defense does a great job of getting the puck out and getting it to the forwards."

Four-point swing:

Beating St. Louis on Tuesday was big for the Hawks because it came in a so-called 4-point game.

Joel Quenneville was impressed with the Blues, even in defeat.

"After watching them play and now this one, they're going to be around when it counts," Quenneville said. "These are 4-point games that at the end could be the difference in being ahead of one another."

Tuning in:

Comcast SportsNet delivered its highest Hawks regular-season rating ever on Tuesday when it had a 5.40 household rating for its live coverage of the home opener against St. Louis.

Comcast attracted approximately 188,179 households for the entire game and posted a 6.28 "peak" rating during the 10 p.m. quarter-hour when 218,845 households were watching.

The previous record for a regular-season game was 4.35 set on March 5, 2010, against Vancouver.

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