After Game 4′s overtime loss to the Phoenix Coyotes, I turned to my buddy and said, “I bet Ray Emery is in net on Saturday.”
His response was no way.
When asked on Friday about making a change in net coach Joel Quenneville said, ”We’re talking about that.”
Not really a ringing endorsement for Corey Crawford, is it?
After two straight overtime defeats, it sounds like Crawford is whom the coaching staff is pointing the finger at. So is Emery the solution to all the Blackhawks problems?
At this point I don’t think anyone knows. However Emery has struggled this season on the road going 5-9-1 with a goal allowed averaged of 3.36 compared to his home record of 10-0-3. Maybe they should have started him in Games 3 and 4.
Quenneville and the Blackhawks have been riding the goalie carousel all season. Actually they have been riding it the last four seasons, since Quenneville became the head coach.
Playing Emery on Saturday might be the sure bet to make sure the series ends on Saturday.
We can debate all day and night over whether Crawford gives up soft goals or does the poor defense lead to him giving up these goals but it’s like asking which came first the chicken or the egg.
What in undeniable is that this team is not playing their best hockey and have been fortunate to force all four of these games into overtime. By the way it’s the first time in NHL history that a series has started with four straight overtime games.
The stars have failed to produce. The power play has struggled so much all season and into the playoffs that the word struggle can’t even describe it.
The Blackhawks have been out hit, been beaten in the face off circle and frankly Mike Smith has just been better than Crawford.
With all these being all it takes is one game to turn it all around and Crawford and this team is capable of having that game. Last season the Blackhawks were done 3-0 to the Vancouver Canucks and facing elimination. They came out big and won 7-2 and then the next game Crawford pitched a shutout.
That was actually the last shutout a Hawks goalies have had. It was in Game 5 last season and I think Game 5 this season would be a perfect time for another one.
If the Blackhawks are going to win this series it will be with Crawford in net and with the stars producing.
What do you think Hawks fans, who should start in goal on Saturday? Sound off below.