Crawford 'has to get better'

Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford makes a save against the Coyotes during Game 2 of their NHL...

Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford makes a save against the Coyotes during Game 2 of their NHL Western Conference quarterfinal series at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz., April 14, 2012. (DARRYL WEBB/Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:21 PM ET

Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman put some of the blame for his team's failure this year on goaltender Corey Crawford.

Well, sort of.

Bowman told reporters in his end-of-season dissertation Wednesday that Crawford "has to get better" before going on to say he wouldn't blame the netminder for Chicago's second straight first-round exit.

"Our goaltending in general was not our strength this year," Bowman said. "I don't think it's fair to lay the blame on (Crawford). You win as a team and you lose as a team. We need to be stronger defensively and that includes our team commitment to defence, not simply the goaltender and not simply the defencemen. It's really a team concept."

Crawford got the bulk of the work this season, going 30-17-7 with a 2.72 goals-against average, but backup Ray Emery got into 34 games.


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