Mar 9, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery (30) is congratulated by goalie Corey Crawford (50) for a victory against the New York Rangers at the United Center. The Blackhawks beat the Rangers 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Great Goalie Controversy of Positivity


 

Chicago Blackhawks head coach, Joel Quenneville has a gigantic looming decision to make by the time the Blackhawks have wrapped up their regular season on April 27th.  Who will be his starting goaltender during the Stanley Cup Playoffs?

Is there a wrong choice?  Not really.  Both Corey Crawford and Ray Emery have had fantastic seasons, this year.  Crawford, is ranked 4th in the NHL with his 1.92 Goals Against Average.  Ranked just ahead of him in 3rd place, is Emery, with a 1.91 Goals Against Average.  Crawford is ranked 5th in the NHL with a .926% Save Percentage, while Emery isn’t far behind ranked 9th in the NHL with a .923% Save Percentage.

Take a second to think about how incredible of a luxury the Blackhawks are blessed with this season.  It’s a remarkable accomplishment for a team to have one goaltender be ranked in the top 10 in either of these categories.  The Blackhawks have two goaltenders that are ranked in the top ten of BOTH categories.

Typical goaltender controversies happen when a team’s number one goaltender struggles, and the team considers making their backup goaltender the new number one man, as a sort of desperate act.  The Hawks are in an incredibly rare situation, where both of their goaltenders are playing at elite levels, and the unfortunate reality is that they will eventually have to choose one or the other.  The wonderful thing for the Hawks is that there is no wrong choice.

If this writer was to choose one of the goalies, he would choose Corey Crawford.  My choice takes nothing away from the phenomenal season that Ray Emery has had, because I would be completely comfortable with Emery being the choice also.  My choice comes from the line of thinking that considers how Crawford has done nothing to lose his job as number one goaltender this season.  Ray Emery has had a season worthy of usurping just about every goaltender in the league, so once again there is no wrong choice in this controversy.

Who would you like to see as the Blackhawks number one goaltender, come playoff time?

Tags: Chicago Blackhawks Controversy Corey Crawford Goaltending Ray Emery

  • RightWired

    Why does he have to choose? Why do anything different than what he’s doing now?

  • Tony Scharf

    In my opinion, Crow gets every opportunity to erase the memory of last season. Look at the comparative contracts of the two and you will see that Crawford is the guy. Emery is only on contract through the end of this year. I have a feeling he is going to be looking for a new job next year where he can be the #1 guy and I really wish him all the best in finding one. He has proven himself.

  • Brian Kinkade

    I agree with Tony, however RightWired brings up an interesting point, does Quenneville have to choose? Tradition has always dictated that a team should have one starting netminder for the post-season. Perhaps Q will try something new, that would be interesting.