Blackhawks: The goalie competition has not been much of a competition
By Jimmy Lynch
The Chicago Blackhawks goalie competition has not been much of a competition thus far as one netminders has run away with things. Kevin Lankinen, Malcolm Subban, and Collin Delia started the year off vying for the starting net in Chicago, and yet after nine games, it is not even close.
It is a long season, there is no doubt in my mind that the Blackhawks will still be giving all three goalies more opportunities in net, but through nine games this season, Kevin Lankinen has been most impressive. Lankinen in the starting net for Chicago is not surprising, but it took him a long way to get there.
When the season began, Kevin Lankinen was on the taxi squad. Chicago began with Malcolm Subban in net, but after a bad game against Tampa Bay where Subban gave up five goals, they went with Collin Delia in the next game. Delia played just as well, giving up five goals again.
Now the games against Tampa Bay might not be a fair estimate for how good those two goalies are. Tampa Bay is the defending Stanley Cup champions, and their offense is second to none in this league. Subban was not terrible in his second game with the Blackhawks when he took the net against the Nashville Predators.
Moving forward, hopefully, the goalie competition won’t be as one-sided for the Chicago Blackhawks.
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I want to see all of the goalies succeed in Chicago, which is for the team’s benefit. It is great to see Kevin Lankinen post a .930 save percentage and a 2.16 goals-against average, but the team also needs a backup goalie.
Having Lankinen start most games for the Blackhawks is fine, but a little competition would not hurt the goalies. Lankinen will start in net for the team on Sunday night, his sixth start in seven games for the Blackhawks.
Delia has not gotten a start since January 17th, when the ‘Hawks lost to Florida. I am all for riding the hot hand in net, but Jeremy Colliton can not declare a winner of the competition after just two or three games of seeing the goalies.
I am sure there are a lot of different opinions on this. I understand playing Lankinen as he has looked like the best goalie thus far, but when it comes to rebuilding the Blackhawks, there needs to be more than one goalie around. Lankinen playing well is great, but the ‘Hawks also need to see if Delia or Subban can also be a solid goalie in net. Subban’s second game was not too bad, and he had a five-game gap between starts.
Chicago passed on Corey Crawford this offseason to see what these younger netminders were made of, but after nine games this season, it seems like every goalie is not getting much of a chance to see what they are made of.