Blackhawks vs. Oilers: 3 Things to Watch in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers
By Dylan Terry
1. Blackhawks Goaltender Situation
The Blackhawks have four goaltenders currently listed on their playoff roster. The quartet includes veteran Corey Crawford, and three young guns, Malcolm Subban, Collin Delia, and Kevin Lankinen.
All the way through training camp, it seemed as if Delia or Subban would have to become the starting goaltender in the series. Crawford was deemed as “unfit to participate”, and the Blackhawks traded former netminder Robin Lehner to the Vegas Golden Knights back in February. This raised a lot of question marks, as Delia only has 18 NHL games under his belt, and Subban has been very shaky this season. Subban posted a .890 SV% and allowed an average of 3.18 goals against during his time with the Knights this season prior to being traded to Chicago.
This past Saturday, everything changed when Corey Crawford finally rejoined the team at practice. It was announced that he had tested positive for Covid-19, and that was why he had not been able to participate during the first two weeks of training camp. Now that Crawford is back healthy and traveling with the team to Edmonton, it will be very interesting to see what his role will be since he has only had one day of practice prior to flying to Alberta.
Having not played in roughly four months, and only having one day of practice? This could be a very big concern for the Blackhawks, especially knowing Corey’s injury history. Can Crawford come in and play up to expectations, or will Delia, Subban, or Lankinen have to step up big time in the national spotlight as Scott Darling did in 2015? This will be something to keep an eye on.