Corey Crawford returns to where it all started for him Saturday when the Blackhawks play at Montreal.
Crawford wasn't even a goaltender until he was 9 and watched Patrick Roy win a few Stanley Cups. He was converted from a forward on the spot.
"He definitely was an influence," Crawford said. "He was the man. Everyone around Montreal idolized him a lot. I think I was 9 when I switched. I just love pads. All the kids loved the gear."
Crawford's switch to goalie almost didn't last long.
"One of the first times, when I got hit with a good shot, I was like 'I don't know if I want to do this,'" Crawford said.
Fortunately for the Hawks, Crawford stayed with it.
"There will definitely be a lot of people there, friends and family," Crawford said. "I was a little nervous the last time, but playing there once before will help me. It's a special place to play."
The Hawks are coming off 2 losses in which they have scored only 2 goals in each game. That's not expected from a team that leads the league in scoring.
"That doesn't even come into mind," Crawford said. "I don't even have to worry about that. I don't think were struggling too much. We're creating chances. We just have to battle through those things and just keep playing our game."
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville is hoping that facing the Canadiens will get his team and Crawford back on track.
"He's proven he can win," Quenneville said. "I think he's had stretches where he's been OK. The consistency he had last year, he hasn't quite got there."
Crawford still is trying to work his way back into top shape after missing a month with a groin injury.
It would be easy for the Hawks to be complacent approaching the Olympic break. They are going to make the playoffs, it's just a matter of what seed they'll get.
"I don't think it has been an issue," Joel Quenneville said. "If you go back to the Toronto game, where you could say we were terrible, we haven't skated with urgency. We've played from behind in our last four games. That changes your game when you give up an early goal.
"I think we can be a little bit better, but I don't think our group is the type of group that's satisfied with being ordinary. Maybe we've gotten off track, but our leadership, they lead the charge."
The Western Conference is so good it can't help but keep teams motivated.
"It'll keep everybody motivated or you could be looking from behind at a couple teams," Quenneville said. "I just want to make sure we stay consistent. The seeding right now doesn't concern me at all. How we play is what were concentrating on right now."
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