- Ray Emery
Games Played In: 21
Summary: It was Corey Crawford who stole the show in the Chicago Blackhawks’ crease in 2013, but Ray Emery made sure he wasn’t the only ‘Hawk among the league’s best goaltenders. 17-1-0. The record really speaks for itself. Among many crazy streaks the Blackhawks went on in the 2013 season, Emery won his first twelve games of the season, before he surrendered his only loss. Among the highlights this season was a road game in Calgary that was undoubtedly the best start of Emery’s career. He survived the Flames’ bombardment of 47 shots, stopping 45 of them, as the Blackhawks came back to win in a shootout.
Emery was doubted by many when Stan Bowman signed the free agent back in 2011. He fought to prove himself as a dependable netminder, and with this fantastic season under his belt, he has finally achieved that. Emery kept calm in the net all season, and there were no worries from ‘Hawks fans when #30 was in net. Emery was never one to let in a weak goal, and he battled hard for every puck, rarely letting out rebounds.
Although Emery did not make an appearance in the playoffs, he easily could have been in Crawford’s position during the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup run, as the two were nearly equal all year. Like his fellow Canadian counterpart, Emery was in the NHL’s top five for GAA, and recorded three shutouts on the year, the same number as Crawford. The two were an unstoppable duo in the net, and they took home the William Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest combined goals against through the regular season.
However, Emery played a little too well for the Blackhawks to retain him, and Stan Bowman had to let him hit the free agent market, where he was quickly swept up by the Philadelphia Flyers. Emery now has the opportunity to show the league he can be a solid starting goalie, after performing so well as a backup in the last few seasons. If he is successful in his return to Philly, he could be looking at a long-term contract, the first of his career that would not be a one-year deal. Blackhawks fans hope he succeeds in that role, one that he worked so hard for in the Windy City.
Grade: Emery was spectacular in net, and a 17-1-0 record really speaks for itself. His grade is an easy A+. He will be missed.
For more Blackhawks conversation, “Like” us on Facebook: Blackhawk Up, and follow us on Twitter: @Blackhawk_Up. Check back each weekday for a new summer daily special!