BOSTON — Corey Crawford did not care.
He said he didn’t even think about it.
But the Chicago media was nothing less than baffled when the Conn Smythe voting revealed Patrick Kane as the winner.
Nothing against Kane, who was spectacular in small bursts this postseason, but Chicago voted for Crawford, who wasn’t at all concerned with who got the hardware.
“I care about that trophy right there,” Crawford said as Duncan Keith skated by with the Stanley Cup. “That kind of stuff is for everyone else to worry about. We just wanted that one.”
There is no denying that Crawford was the Blackhawks’ best player from the start of the postseason to the finish, and the goaltender seemed to always play his best when the Hawks needed him the most.
“That’s how this team operates,” Crawford said. “We all do what we have to do to win. I have great defense in front of me and great forwards coming back to help all the time.
“No one guy does it, but if there’s times when one person has to be better to help out, that’s what we do.”
That’s what Crawford did Monday night in Game 6 when he stemmed the tide as the Bruins came in waves. The home team played with desperation from start to finish, and it was only Crawford who kept the Hawks from facing a Game 7 at home Wednesday.
“He’s the reason we’re here and he’s the reason we won this game,” said coach Joel Quenneville. “He’s been that way from the start of the year and he was like that throughout the playoff run. Just a tremendous performance from him.
“There’s games like this when you need your goalie to keep you in it when the other team plays like the Bruins did tonight. Corey did that for us and I’m not surprised. He’s a great goaltender and I’m glad everyone in hockey got to see that.”
For Crawford, this entire postseason has been redeeming, after he faced so many questions about his mental toughness.
In fact, questions were still being asked about him following a Game 4 victory in Boston.
“No one in our room thought that was fair,” said captain Jonathan Toews. “That was all coming from the outside. We have total belief in Corey and he showed everyone else what he was about during the playoffs.
“He was great. He carried us at times when we weren’t playing great. He carried us tonight. He carried us in all those overtimes and gave us a chance. We never get out of the Detroit series without him.
“Corey is an all-star as far as our team thinks, and we don’t care what anyone else says about it.”
What they’re probably saying now is Corey Crawford is a Stanley Cup champion.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.