Question 1: The Chicago Blackhawks’ in-house options are very limited. There might be potential there in the future, but right now I don’t see a viable backup for Corey Crawford.
So I would like to see them utilize free agency, or a trade. Of course, it’s hard to find a decent backup goaltender when you have very limited cap space. Hopefully, Stan Bowman can find someone who sees the Blackhawks as a second chance, and that doesn’t require a whole lot of money.
No matter which way you slice it, a lot is going to be asked of Crow this coming season. I hope he’s up to the task.
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Question 2: I think Subban was saying some very nasty things to Crosby. Stuff we don’t want to hear, and don’t want to know about. And I’m sure Crosby is no saint either. This is a playoff rivalry, after all. The Stanley Cup is at stake! There’s going to be no love lost with these two teams, especially between their biggest stars.
Neither Subban nor Crosby wants the public to know about their “pleasantries,” which is why Subban’s Listerine ploy is the perfect cover. Crosby might act like he’s pissed, but I’m sure he’s actually a bit relieved. The media goes off on this crazy tangent, and the players can carry on with their business. Who cares what was said? Let’s just play some hockey!
Question 1: I think the Blackhawks can safely go beyond the organization to find their next backup netminder. I noted not long after Darling was moved a list of some impending free agent goaltenders the Blackhawks could chase. Those are some relatively low-cost options, too. And we can’t rule out some sort of draft-day trade.
Overall, I think this makes more sense than the Blackhawks turning to one of Jeff Glass, Lars Johansson or Mac Carruth in the immediate future. If the Blackhawks still believe they can win now, they’ll go with someone who has actual NHL experience as their backup instead of training a youngster.
Question 2: It’s pretty clear what Subban actually said to Crosby in “Mouthwashgate.” Subban was simply asking Crosby if he’d like to attend a catfish dinner after Game 3. Crosby is not a fan of seafood, but Subban kept pushing. So Crosby got upset, leading to an official stepping between the two.
I think after this series is over, the two can go out for a nice steak dinner instead. Lord knows they can both afford it. Subban was simply trying to be a kind host for Crosby, but the latter wanted to make clear he doesn’t enjoy fish dishes. These misunderstandings happen all the time in the hockey rink.