J.T. Barrett in check with a variety of blitzes, now must find a way to s

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CHICAGO – When Patrick Kane iced the Flyers for the Blackhawks first Stanley Cup in 49 years back in 2010, there in the stands at Wachovia Center in Philadelphia to experience the excitement and pandemonium of a long-awaited victory was a jubilant, but ultimately unsatisfied goaltender from Montreal. Then the third man in the Chicago crease, firmly behind the starter, Antti Niemi, and his backup, Cristobal Huet, Corey Crawford wanted to feel the weight of the games ultimate prize, own it for himself. "Obviously, I was excited for the guys that were able to win it, [but] at the same time you werent playing so its not the same feeling," a heavily bearded Crawford said from media day at the United Center on Tuesday afternoon. "When youre out there and youre battling hard and you give up so much, so much sacrifice and so much hard work to finally achieve that goal, its a lot different [than] when youre sitting in the stands." Crawford will be far from the stands when the Cup Final gets underway on Wednesday night. A second round pick of the Blackhawks organization in 2003, the 28-year-old will get his chance to "achieve that goal" of a Stanley Cup win, now the man in the Chicago crease. Crawford has sizzled in the 2013 postseason, topping all counterparts with a miniscule 1.74 goals against average, ranked second with a .935 save percentage. "I played with him for six years, coming up in the minor leagues together," said former Rockford IceHog teammate and current Blackhawk Bryan Bickell. "His focus level from where it was then to where it is now, its changed. Him being in Rockford to start off his career, to get that confidence where he is now, its unbelievable. Hes been playing great for us, hes our backbone." Crunched with cap constraints following their Cup victory in the summer of 2010 – Chicago had recently matched a four-year offer sheet to blooming defender Niklas Hjalmarsson – the Blackhawks parted ways with Niemi, who had been awarded a $2.75 million judgment from the arbitration process, leaving a gaping hole in the crease of their Cup defence. They pledged to fill it with 34-year-old Marty Turco, who had recently concluded a lengthy and successful tenure in Dallas. Lingering in the background was Crawford, who would eventually usurp Turco for the starting role. "It was five years that I had to work hard in the minors," said Crawford, who teamed with Ray Emery to win the William M. Jennings Trophy for the lowest goals-against average in the 2013 regular season. "I didnt think that I was owed anything. It never crossed my mind. It was more of I just have to keep playing hard, keep working hard and force them to make a decision where they have to put me on their team. That year was a lot of fun. I started out as a backup behind Marty and I learned a lot from that guy." He tasted failure in his first two trips to the postseason as the lead in goal, falling in an epic seven-game series to Vancouver in 2011 before dropping a six-game set to Phoenix in the spring of 2012. Those lessons, like his time in the minors, have made an opportunity such as this all the more sweet. "Obviously, your goal is to get to the end and win and whenever you dont do that, you wonder why," Crawford said. Countering him in the first-ever Stanley Cup meeting between the Blackhawks and Bruins will be a goaltender who faced a similar circumstance when his team hoisted the grand prize in 2011, albeit not from the stands as Crawford had experienced. Tuukka Rask sat on the bench when Boston captured the Cup two years ago, the backup to the enigmatic, but incredibly effective Bruins starter Tim Thomas. While he posted the stingiest of numbers – including a .931 save percentage in 2009-2010 – Rask was typically playing second fiddle to Thomas, save for the 2010 postseason when the Bruins unraveled behind a 3-0 series lead, their foes that year in Philadelphia squaring off with Chicago in the 2010 final. Now, like Crawford, hell get his opportunity to win the Cup as the lead in the Boston crease. "I think everybody would like to have that chance someday," said Rask, who exudes not quite cockiness but a certain confidence in his demeanor, "and for me it came pretty early after our win. Im just trying to make the most out of it and enjoy myself." A teammate since the 2009-2010 campaign, Daniel Paille had a sense that Rask was capable of the theatrics hes pulled off this postseason, leading all goaltenders with an utterly tremendous .943 save percentage, stopping all but two of the 136 shots he faced from the Penguins in the Eastern Final. "I thought that years ago when he was a starter back in 2009," Paille said of a regular season in which Rask posted a 1.97 goals against average. "But Tuukka, he just was patient, waited his time and now hes seizing the opportunity. I dont think he surprises any of us." Echoing those thoughts was Patrice Bergeron, who claimed that he knew "right away" that the former Maple Leafs draft pick was capable of the spectacular. "Hes got the poise but also the confidence in him that he can do the job," Bergeron said, "but also hes got the talent and obviously thats something important to have and also the character. He had everything from the beginning to be a starter, but not just a starter but a goalie who can steal games for you. "Ive always had tremendous confidence in his game and the way that he handles himself off the ice and the way that he could shake off a tough performance or the opposite is true, when he had a really good performance and he stole a game for us, he never got over-confident. Thats what youre looking for in a goalie." There for the taking is an opportunity for one of the two goaltenders to stamp out a place in the forefront of a Stanley Cup victory. No longer will one linger in the shadows. Franco Harris Jersey . Listen to the game live on TSN Radio 1050 at 7pm et. The Raptors traded Rudy Gay, Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray to the Sacramento Kings on Monday, in exchange for Greivis Vasquez, John Salmons, Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes. Wholesale Steelers Jerseys . -- Jimmy Walkers first PGA Tour trophy came with a special gift tucked inside. http://www.cheapsteelersjerseyschina.com/mike-webster-jersey/ . The incident occurred at 19:56 of the second period of the Kings 4-2 road win over Edmonton on Sunday. Nolan punched Oilers forward Jesse Joensuu in the jaw in front of the Kings goal during a scrum. Rocky Bleier Jersey . P.A. Parenteau scored early in the third period to help the Avs edge Toronto 2-1 on Tuesday night. Cory Sarich also scored for Colorado (3-0-0), which is off to its best ever start. Mel Blount Jersey . Coach Tom Thibodeau says the former MVP will probably start travelling with the team in the next few weeks. Rose tore the meniscus in his right knee at Portland in November and was ruled out for the remainder of the season by the Bulls. Penn State coach James Franklin encouraged his team to take in the moment following its dramatic fourth-quarter comeback and 24-21 upset of No. 2 ranked Ohio State last Saturday night in Happy Valley.Obviously these types of wins are important, Franklin said. To be honest with you, I dont want to spend a lot of time thinking about the big picture right now, I just want to soak this all in. Nights like this dont happen very often.Now the No. 24 Nittany Lions (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten), who visit Purdue (3-4, 1-3) on Saturday, need to find a way to regroup and move on from their first home win over a Top 2 rated team since a 27-24 victory over Nebraska in 1982.If we turn around and lay an egg against Purdue, then what good is (the Ohio State) victory? Nittany Lions assistant head coach Terry Smith, filling in for Franklin, who was out of town attending a family funeral, asked on Tuesdays Big Ten head coaches conference call.Toss in the fact Penn State has lost its last seven true road contests dating back to a Nov. 18, 2014 victory at Indiana, including two this season at Pitt (42-39) and Michigan (49-10), and the early noon start in West Lafayette, Ind., becomes even more intriguing.Were going to approach it as business as usual, Smith said. We worked under the belief that the next game is the most important game, no matter who your opponent is.Our kids have bought into the process for the entire year, and after a game last weekend, the buy in is even greater. For us personally, we havent won on the road, so this is going to be a good test for us to get our first road victory.Purdue also has a lot riding on the contest. It will be the first home game since interim head coach Gerad Parker took over for Darrell Hazell a few weeks ago and an upset of the Nittany Lions, who have won seven in a row in the series, would put the Boilermakers back on track for a potential bowl bid.Parker is emphasizing a more positive, upbeat approach to his head coachingg duties.ddddddddddddIt seemed to work for much of his debut last week at No. 8 Nebraska. The Boilermakers performed far better than they had all season against top teams, building a 14-10 halftime lead before eventually falling to the Huskers 27-14.It was a fun run. We have to take that and build off of that so we become that same team the second half, Parker said. It was a fun ride. You could see the belief in those kids eyes. I think they know they let one fall through here. Thats how they feel. Its going to be fun to coach them the rest of the weeks to try to get them to this point where they keep believing.Penn States running game looked pretty good against Ohio State as sophomore running back Saquon Barkley and sophomore quarterback Trace McSorley continue to team up to make defenders miss. They combined for 162 yards as their chemistry in the teams zone read rushing attack has grown. The Boilermakers, meanwhile, have allowed 1,237 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns since conference play started.Penn States defense, which kept Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett in check with a variety of blitzes, now must find a way to slow down Purdues wide open passing attack. Boilermaker quarterback David Blough leads the Big Ten in completions (173) and yards (2,065) and has thrown 14 touchdown passes. Senior wide receiver DeAngelo Yancey is coming off a big game against Nebraska with four catches for 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns.(Blough) can throw the ball, Smith said. Hes got some really good receivers on the perimeter, some guys that create challenges for us on the perimeter. Hes very accurate, he throws a good ball, he throws a catchable ball, and you can see him directing the offense.We have our work cut out for us, and were going to try to figure out how to slow him down and keep the pass game to a minimum. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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