A few days ago goaltending was a subject in this cyber space. Well, were talking goaltending again.
Corey Crawford is back in net after his strong outing against Montreal on Wednesday. Ray Emery was superb in starting six straight games and winning five of them. Coach Joel Quenneville potentially has his ideal situation: two goaltenders feeling confident and comfortable in their games.
Now heres a new question: how should he handle their playing time moving forward?
History shows Quenneville is a play-the-hot-hand kind of coach when it comes to choosing his goaltenders. Thats why Emery got two weeks worth of consecutive starts. Thats why Crawford became the guy last season when Marty Turco was inconsistent through the first three months.
But if Crawford keeps building off that Montreal game, keeps regaining his form, then the Blackhawks will have two solid options. Would a different scenario mean a different way of handling the goaltending starts?
Asked if hed play it by ear or go with the hot goalie, Quenneville said we want Corey playing. Weve confidence in him at the start and that hasnt changed. Ray gives us something to think about but we want Corey playing.
OK, so its no surprise that Quenneville isnt going to tip his hand. Crawford is still the No. 1 guy, the one the Blackhawks will have in net come playoff time. Nevertheless, Quenneville has options now. He doesnt have to wait for one goaltender to get to the end of a hot streak. He can interchange them, benefit from each of them.
Something to think about, in this case, isnt so bad.
Both goalies have played well, had real solid stretches, Quenneville said. Ray had the chance to keep the net for a while but we still want Corey playing. And the fact that Ray can play at any moment and give us strong goaltending is a good situation.
Duncan Keith will not be part of the Blackhawks’ World Cup of Hockey contingent after all.
Keith will focus on improving his health rather than play for Team Canada in the tournament, which takes place next month in Toronto. The Blackhawks released a statement regarding Keith on Wednesday afternoon.
"As Duncan continues offseason rehabilitation on the right knee injury that he sustained last season, we understand his decision not to participate in next month’s World Cup of Hockey," team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in the statement. "We believe it is in his best interests to focus on getting stronger and not risk further injury."
Keith had surgery on that knee last October and was sidelined about one month.
St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester will take Keith’s place.
The Colorado Avalanche are looking for a new head coach, and Blackhawks assistant Kevin Dineen is reportedly a "major candidate" to land the job, according to Mike Chambers and Terry Frei of The Denver Post.
Dineen, 52, has spent the last two seasons as Joel Quenneville's right-hand man, and helped guide the Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup victory in 2015.
He previously served as the head coach for the Florida Panthers, where he went 56-62-28 in two and a half seasons with the team.
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Dineen is familiar with the Colorado area as well, playing collegiate hockey at the University of Denver from 1981-83. He scored 26 goals and 23 assists in 67 games across two seasons with the Pioneers, and was named captain as a sophomore.
Because he's under contract with the Blackhawks for the 2016-17 season, the Avalanche would have to seek permission to interview Dineen, and it's possible it already happened.
The Avalanche are looking to replace Patrick Roy after he resigned on Aug. 11 due to philosophical differences with management.
Roy was 130-92-24 in three years with the Avalanche, guiding his former club to a Central Division title in his first season but missing out on the playoffs the past two years.
Patrick Sharp is back in Chicago, and spent Saturday evening at Wrigley Field taking in the Pearl Jam concert, one of his favorite bands.
The former Blackhawks forward happened to bump into another fan-favorite athlete Chicago is well familiar with: Paul Konerko of the White Sox.
Together, the two of them have helped bring four championships to the city.
Sharp couldn't resist tweeting the photo Saturday night to document the moment: