Sep 23, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) makes a save during the third period against the Detroit Red Wings at the United Center. Chicago won 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Blackhawks apparent weakness looks like a possible strength now after a week with Corey Crawford on the mend. Both Antti Raanta and Scott Darling have seen action and they have played pretty well while racking up only a 2-3 record this past week. Now with word that Crawford is getting close to a return one has to go to Rockford and one gets the pleasure of watching Crawford make the majority of the starts.
The pro’s for Raanta heading to Rockford would be simple, Playing time! Raanta played a lot last fall in Rockford and when Nikolai Khabibulin left with his mysterious season long groin/rotator cuff injury and Crawford was injured he was thrust into action and was the c0-rookie of the month for his great play in December. The problem was when Crawford returned Raanta barely saw the ice and when he did play he wasn’t as crisp as he was in December. Raanta is also waiver exempt so there’s no fear of losing him or putting him on waivers since they can just send him down to Rockford for extended playing time.
The con’s for sending Raanta down would be a possible loss of confidence of being considered the backup goalie and then before December he’s back in Rockford playing AHL hockey.
Scott Darling story is almost storybook , being the first player to make the NHL from the Southern Professional Hockey League to local kid to just imagining how many miles on bus rides he’s been on since leaving college to make it to the NHL. The pro’s for Darling is he’s playing very good in net no matter how much ice time he receives. He’s played twice in Rockford sat out a week while watching Raanta take three consecutive starts and yet we should be celebrating two shutouts if it wasn’t for two horrible defensive plays in both games Darling has been in net, and has only given up 1 goal per game.
Their really isn’t a con for Darling knowing his story, if he gets sent down he will get a ton of work in Rockford and his short time in Chicago could just lift his confidence to an all-time high.
So which goalie should be heading to Rockford when Crawford returns?
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