MONTREAL -- Corey Crawford planned to have dinner with his parents in his hometown of Montreal on the eve of the Blackhawks goaltender manning the crease against the team he idolized throughout much of his childhood.
In a perfect scenario, the evening would have included a toast to celebrate Crawford having been selected to Team Canada for the Winter Olympics. After not being included on that roster despite a stronger resume than at least two of the three goalies chosen, that would not be part of the festivities.
"It would have been nice," Crawford said Friday. "(But) I still have a job to do here and some hockey to play. I can't change it now."
The Olympic snub is not the first time Crawford has not received the recognition deserving of a goalie who has done more than enough to silence doubters of his ability. After putting together an excellent performance during the Hawks' run to the 2013 Stanley Cup, Crawford was not awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the postseason, as many in the media electorate instead put the more recognizable Patrick Kane in the top spot on their ballots.
As with seemingly almost every time the Hawks are in a slump for any period of time, they will face the Canadiens on Saturday night. After defeats in three of their last four games since Crawford returned from missing three weeks with what a source said was a groin injury, there are some who will put the blame squarely on the goalie and ignore other weaknesses in the lineup.
For Crawford, though, there is solace in knowing those who need to believe in his abilities the most -- himself and his teammates -- do so.
"There is always going to be somebody who doubts what you can do," Crawford said. "I'm not going to waste energy worrying about those people. There are a lot of people who believe in me and what I can do. The positives are what you listen to. It's more about what's going on in this room. And with the guys you can feel the confidence. I have confidence in them, and it's a good camaraderie that we have. It feels like we battle for each other and no one is blaming anyone."
Instead, the focus now is for Crawford and the rest of the Hawks to break out of their doldrums since the start of the new year.
"When you aren't winning it's a little frustrating, but not to the point where it's going to affect our game," Crawford said. "We're still able to play at the level we can. It's a tough league. It's competitive, man. It's not going to go our way all the time. We know, we've battled through things.
"There are times you're not getting results and you have to keep playing your game instead of getting frustrated and going through the motions. You have to battle through it."
With the exception of a slow start during the Hawks' 3-2 loss to the Rangers on Wednesday night, Crawford has been relatively solid since his return.
"I like the way he has come back," coach Joel Quenneville said. "(Wednesday night) he didn't get off to a good start, but he rebounded as the game went on. He came back with a real good approach. He has been fine."
Added Crawford: "That takes time (after coming back) to get those little details so you're not thinking and it just comes naturally and things are a little bit smoother.
"That's the way it has been the last couple of games. It has gotten better. I'm just going to keep battling."
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