Corey Crawford is the 26th-best goalie IN NHL HISTORY, according to NHL Network

Alright settle down, fellas.

I’ve never considered myself to be a great hockey history buff. I didn’t grow up watching or playing the sport like a lot of hockey writers, so it’s been a game of catch-up. However, even as a relative hockey history newb, I could tell that NHL Network’s list of the 40 greatest goaltenders in hockey history is a tad hilarious.

Why, you might ask? Probably because they RANKED COREY CRAWFORD THE 26TH-BEST GOALIE IN HISTORY. As in, the guy who we regularly have to defend from knuckleheads who insist he’s actually overrated and overpaid. NHL Network doesn’t just think Crawford is properly rated, it thinks we should give him due as one of the greatest goalies to ever live.

This is good. This is grand.

I have no idea just how crazy that ranking is, because it would demand some hardcore analysis of player performance stretching through different eras that are almost impossible to compare. Goaltenders weren’t nearly as effective back in the day for various reasons. However, I just have to assume that Crawford, who is in his seventh NHL season, cannot possibly be the 26th-best goaltender of all time.

That just cannot be. I’m a big fan of Crawford, and regularly defend him as one of the best goaltenders in the game today. But there’s a huge leap from that to “only 25 goalies have ever been better than this guy.” There have been thousands of goalies to play in the NHL. Crawford has been very, very good for six years, but you’re telling me that there aren’t 25 guys who were better, or at least did it for longer?

Now, there are a lot of reasons that list puzzles me, but we’re a Blackhawks website, so Crawford is the one who stands out. And given how many times I’ve talked to people who believe he should be traded because he’s just a dime-a-dozen starter, it’s a bit funny seeing the league’s official TV network hype him as an all-time great.