Corey Crawford has been playing well so far this season. Not perfect by any stretch as he keeps leaving the crease and giving me heart attacks, but he is 3 and 0 and has stopped a ton of great shots so far. Starting him tonight was not the news I expected to hear. I figured with The Detroit Redwings coming to town Sunday Coach Joel Quenneville would definitely play Ray Emery tonight and let Crawford rest for Sunday. Any game against the hated Redwings is huge and since it is only the second home game I believe the fans deserve to see the #1 Goalie. So I hope to see the Crow in the net when I get to the United Center Sunday but having him playing back to back Division games makes me nervous.
I know Crawford has been working hard to redeem himself and changed his pre-game routine to get his head ready for each game, but if Q plays him both nights would that be too much too fast for him? He still seems to get easily rattled, and this kind of pressure could be overwhelming. Maybe Coach Q wants to see how Crow will take the pressure; the logic may be that since the season is so short, Crawford needs to be tested early and often. Call me a scardy cat but personally I don't think this is the right time. Crawford has let in too many soft goals and has made some glaring mistakes that without his awesome defense could have made our record far from the perfect one it is now.
Goal tending has been a large issue for the Hawks since I became a fan. With the exception of the break out year of Antti Niemi in 2010, we have been a premiere goalie short of playoff greatness. (I have to admit I stole that line from the Hubby, he has said this for years, but he is right.)
The first year we had our tickets Nikolai Khabibulin was the goalie. He was on the back end of his career and wasn't able to get the job done, he did have some sparks of his former self every so often and had a great nickname but other than that he was disappointing. Cristobal Huet was a gigantic waste of money and drove me nuts. When we got Marty Turco I was excited, he had a great career; he was awesome with assists and playing the puck, but again once he got to the Hawks, he seemed to deflate. At that time I thought, "Is Chicago where goalies come to die?" Then Crawford played exceptionally well when he replaced Turco and gave us a ray of hope. But during the playoffs he was nothing to be excited about.
When this season finally started, the big local story, other than the end of the lock-out, was how Crawford was ready to redeem himself. He looks as if he is on the road to redemption but this weekend could make or break him. We will have to see how it plays out. I sure hope whatever Q decides is the right call and leaves us with a 6 and 0 record. I also hope Crow continues to prove me wrong, yes you read that right, a woman just hoped a man would prove her wrong. Either way, as a Blackhawks fan I truly hope the long lingering goalie issue is resolved for good and quickly.