Blackhawks News

And After The 15th Straight Start, Corey Crawford Will Get Some Rest!

By Keith Schultz

Nov 19, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie

Antti Raanta

(31) during the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Corey Crawford will get a night off in Calgary tomorrow night.  Annti Raanta will get his first NHL start Wednesday Night against the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome. Raanta stats for the Rockford IceHogs are 14 appearances going 7-5 with a 2.83 Goals Against Average and a .914 Save percentage.

Raanta came in relief in Colorado giving up 2 goals in 47 minutes in his only NHL appearance to date.

The master plan for the season probably didn’t include calling up Raanta this season, but no one thought that Nikolai Khabibulin would be as bad as he’s been this season, and of course nobody expected Khabibulin to get injured when he did see action.

Crawford play has not slipped with the extra workload and he now leads the NHL in victories with 16.  Crawford stat line reads 16-4-3 with a 2.43 Goals Against Average and a .911 Save Percentage. Crawford has lived up to the big extension he signed in the offseason, and is playing with the confidence of a Stanley Cup Champion.  Crawford has been very solid, but in this day and age of NHL hockey the starting goalie can’t go out and play 75 games a season and be fresh for the playoffs like they did in the 1960’s. So after 15 straight starts Crawford will get a deserved night off.

Part of the success last season was the play of both Crawford and his backup Ray Emery. While no one ever expects that kind of production from Khabibulin or Raanta in the back up role, but getting Crawford some nights off while playing in between the pipes is necessary for the long-term goal of this organization.

Raanta gets the start tomorrow night!  What are you expecting from Raanta tomorrow night when he gets his first start?