The goaltenders in the Stanley Cup final between the Blackhawks and Lightning aren’t regarded by the hockey community as the very best of the netminding community, but after Tampa goalie Ben Bishop stoned Chicago star Jonathan Toews late in the first period of Game 6 Monday, Hawks counterpart Corey Crawford made a stunning stop of his own, turning aside Bolts star Steven Stamkos on a breakaway early in the second period.
The heat has been on Stamkos during the Cup final, with the Tampa captain unable to score in his first five games against the Blackhawks. But despite being gifted with a breakaway less than one minute into the second frame, Stamkos was patiently waited on by Crawford and was unable to stuff the puck past the Hawks goalie:
Stamkos has scored seven times in 25 playoff games this spring prior to Monday’s action, and at this stage, it’s only natural for him or anyone else to grow frustrated. But his team has no time for furrowed brows and squeezed sticks. If they’re going to force a Game 7 Wednesday, they need their best player to fight through it.