Game 5: Crawford or Emery?


Game 5: Crawford or Emery?

Corey Crawford has arguably allowed just two bad goals in this series against the Phoenix Coyotes. Unfortunately, both of them have been overtime game-winners, and have given the Coyotes a 3-1 lead in this Western Conference quarterfinal series.So with the Blackhawks facing elimination, will there be a goaltending change?Well talk about it, coach Joel Quenneville said Friday, before the Blackhawks departed for Arizona, where theyll play Game 5 on Saturday night. Crawford has been good throughout most of this series, the goals hes allowed mostly through traffic or deflections. But the back-to-back winners that Phoenix forward Mikkel Boedker got past him were soft one from a bad angle, the other barely pushed through so the question had to be asked.So will it be Crawford or backup Ray Emery? Quenneville isnt showing his hand now, and may not until game time on Saturday.We dont foresee making an announcement, he said about Game 5s starter.Crawford is certainly not the only one to blame for how this series has gone for the Blackhawks. The team has constantly talked about getting ugly goals, and that phrase was uttered again on Friday. But the talk hasnt translated into action nearly enough. Meanwhile, the Coyotes have pounced on Blackhawks mistakes and stayed patient en route to a 3-1 series lead. Mike Smiths stalwart work in goal hasnt hurt, either.We need more shots, more traffic, we need to play tight against those guys, Quenneville said. We need to be more tenacious.Meanwhile, Quenneville said there has been no change in Marian Hossas status. He is not traveling for Game 5. Brandon Saad is the only member of the black aces going on this trip.

PHOTOS: Blackhawks hit the road sporting Cubs attire

PHOTOS: Blackhawks hit the road sporting Cubs attire

The Blackhawks hit the road on Thursday, and they did so in style.

In support of the Cubs participating in the World Series for the first time since 1945, each member of the Blackhawks sported a Cubs jersey and World Series hat as they hopped onto the plane and traveled to New Jersey.

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It may not have been as whacky as Joe Maddon's themed road trips, but it's still a perfect excuse for breaking the dress code just this once.

Check out the photos below:

Together again: Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane reunite on top line vs. Devils

Together again: Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane reunite on top line vs. Devils

When coach Joel Quenneville has put Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane together it’s usually been during the postseason.

It’s rare when it happens in the regular season and when it does, it seems like an in-case-of-emergency move. But in this case, it may be more of a get-the-captain’s-production-going move.

The Blackhawks made a few more line changes on Thursday, including combining Toews and Kane, as they prepared for Friday night’s game at the New Jersey Devils. Marian Hossa moved to right wing on the second line with Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov. Marcus Kruger and Nick Schmaltz flip-flopped as third- and fourth-line centers. Tyler Motte and Ryan Hartman were the third-line wings while Dennis Rasmussen and Jordin Tootoo were on the fourth line.

Coach Joel Quenneville said the line changes, including Kane’s move to the first line, were because the Blackhawks continue to look for balance. To a point, that’s true; the Blackhawks still haven’t come close to getting that four-line rotation with which they’ve found so much success. But considering how successful the Toews and Kane combination has been for each, you’d have to think it’s to help bolster Toews’ point totals. Toews has just two assists through the first seven games.

“Right now I think Jonny, his production isn’t where you look at his play – we still always like the way he plays, he’s so useful in so any different ways,” Quenneville said. “I think maybe we get more balance on both lines. We’ve been trying a number of different looks in our top two groups there. over seven games we still need to be better in a lot of ways. hopefully we can find it.”

Still, if you can get your top players producing points, it’s worth a try. And Kane and Toews, regardless of how long they’ve been apart, usually click immediately upon reuniting.

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“Yeah, I guess change can be good in this sense. We can probably produce a little bit more offense and have the puck a little bit more throughout the game,” Kane said. “I’ve played with Jonny a bunch before. Obviously, not as much lately. But I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be a fun way to play hockey. Obviously he’s one of the best players in the game, and probably in my mind, the easiest player to play with. It’ll be fun to get back out there with him and try to create something, try to produce and have some fun with it.”

As for that usual second line of Panarin, Anisimov and Kane, remember: as we’ve seen before, it can be put together again fast.

“They get a lot of shifts and a lot of looks. It’s not like we’re too far away from going back to it at any time. It’s always close and available,” Quenneville said. “Maybe we get more balance and a little more scoring across the board.”


- Defenseman Gustav Forsling (upper body) did not skate on Thursday and will not travel to New Jersey. Quenneville is still hoping Forsling can play on Sunday vs. the Los Angeles Kings.

- Forward Andrew Desjardins (lower body) continues to improve. Quenneville said Desjardins could be skating in the next day or so.

- Corey Crawford will start vs. the Devils.