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Western Conference Final Could Come Down To Quick Versus Crawford In Goal

Posted by Don Melrose on 6/2/2013 7:17:03 PM

When the Los Angeles Kings won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history last season, it was MVP Jonathan Quick that led the way. Quick posted an outstanding .946 save percentage and 1.41 goals against average during that incredible run, earning Conn Smythe trophy honors as the player most valuable to his team during the playoffs and more importantly bringing home the first Stanley Cup ring in franchise history. The Kings have relied on Quick again this postseason and he has delivered, knowing full well that his team’s chances to repeat will rest on his shoulders. The online sports betting match up between Quick and Chicago Blackhawks’ goalie Corey Crawford has generated a ton of buzz heading in to this year’s Western Conference Final, and there is no denying that match up will play a crucial role in this series.

The 27-year old Quick leads all goalies with a 1.50 goals against average and .948 save percentage through the first two rounds of this year’s playoffs, and was brilliant in Los Angeles’ game-seven win over the San Jose Sharks. The Kings relied on him to make several big stops to hold on to a 2-1 lead late in that decisive game, and his glove save on Joe Pavelski may very well be the highlight of the playoffs to this point. One of the most acrobatic netminders in the league today, Quick will face his toughest opponent yet in the Blackhawks. Chicago has the skilled forwards capable of putting up big sports betting numbers, and it will be on Quick to hold down the fort in goal.

One of the more interesting storylines heading in to this online betting series is how well Corey Crawford will hold up at the opposite end of the ice. Crawford has posted a 1.70 goals against average and .938 save percentage through the first two rounds, and he will need to build on a couple of strong series’. The Blackhawks had the best team goals against in the NHL during the regular season, but Crawford and Ray Emery were largely interchangeable parts that rotated back and forth and so the majority of the credit was given to the team in front of them. Chicago has the offensive talent to really make it hard on Quick at the other end, but the Blackhawks will need Crawford to hold his own in this series.

Goaltending is one of the most obvious and important factors in any series, but this match up is particularly interesting. Most experts agree that if Crawford can hold his own against Quick then this will be Chicago’s series, but it’s hard to bet against what the reigning Conn Smythe winner in Quick will do, especially considering his outstanding play through the first two rounds. It won’t be a surprise at all if this Western Conference Final comes down to goaltending, and it will be a battle between one of the best in Quick and one of the most unproven in Crawford that makes the difference.

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