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.