Mar 29, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) plays the puck against the St. Louis Blues during the third period at the United Center. The Chicago Blackhawks beat the St. Louis Blues 4-3 in the shootout. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
4. The new coach– In what seems like a minor move of all the moves this offseason, Blackhawks goalie coach Stephen Waite picked up a new address with the Montreal Canadiens, and the Blackhawks hired a new goalie coach in Steve Weeks.
First of all Waite did a sensational job with both Corey Crawford and Ray Emery in 2013. They won the Jennings trophy together and both goalies had great statistical seasons, but together it was a great season for the Blackhawks in between the pipes.
Waite helped Crawford get past his slumping 2011-2012 season which included two tremendously weak overtime goals to the Phoenix Coyotes. After setting career lows in every major category in 2012, Waite helped Crawford set career high’s in Goals Against Average (.926) and Save percentage (1.94) The loss of Waite could be the biggest offseason change for the Hawks heading into 2013-2014.
So in comes Weeks and you will hear or read that he has over 25 years experience in both capacities of player, coach, and scout. There are two areas of concern with Weeks though if you look at the resume a little deeper. 1. He was fired by the Atlanta Thrashers in 2010. Being fired by the Thrashers after an extended period as a coach shouldn’t really be that big of a deal right? 2. He hasn’t coached since 2010! This is the troubling part of the resume.
Sure, coaching goalies that have won the Stanley Cup is like riding a bike right? I don’t think so! Being a goalie in the NHL has to be the toughest job in all of sports so to go to the well with a guy that’s been out of the game for 3 years is kind of out there!
Let’s not fall in love with Weeks, if Corey Crawford’s game starts to slip midway through the season or takes a turn toward slumping let’s not be tied down to a salesman for the past three years. Crawford’s confidence should be at an all-time high which should carry over nicely into 2013-2014 season, but if it doesn’t and his game deteriorates let’s run Weeks out of town as quickly as he appeared! Crawford was the reason the Cup was hoisted by the man wearing Blackhawks jersey’s and his game cannot suffer if the Hawks hope to repeat this coming season.