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Hawks coach won’t rule out using both goalies in playoffs

Apr 7, 2013, 6:42 PM EDT

Goalie Ray Emery #30 of the Chicago Blackhawks defends the goal against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on March 18, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Blackhawks defeated the Avalanche 5-2.
(March 17, 2013 - Source: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks can become the first team in the Western Conference to guarantee their spot in the playoffs with at least a point against the Nashville Predators tonight.

With that being the backdrop for this contest, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville decided to start goaltender Ray Emery for the second time in as many days, according to Chicago Sun-Times’ writer Mark Lazerus.

The rationale behind that move isn’t hard to decipher. Emery earned a 20-save shutout against Nashville on Saturday, so why not go with the hot hand?

Still, starting netminder Corey Crawford has struggled lately after starting the season on a high note. Meanwhile Emery has remained largely consistent with a 13-1-0 record, 1.95 GAA, and .923 save percentage in 17 games. So should he at least be considered as a potential starter for the playoffs?

For his part, Quenneville left the door open to the Chicago Blackhawks taking the unconventional approach of using both of their goaltenders in the postseason.

You never know,” Quenneville told Lazerus. “I don’t want to say no. We’ll see. I’m not worried about it right now.”

Quenneville still has 11 regular season games, including tonight’s, before he has to decide how he’ll handle his goaltending situation in the playoffs.

  1. chanceoffleury1 - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and LA all have backups that have plead some pretty convincing cases for a couple potential playoff starts. If they run into a situation where they’re playing back to backs it’ll definitely give those teams a little bit of an edge.

  2. thedavesiknowiknow - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    I’m convinced this happened because I angered god, and he’s extracting revenge by effectively ending both of my fantasy seasons in one day. How’s that for a conspiracy theory?

  3. 19to77 - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    You’re overstating Crawford’s “shortcomings,” Ryan. His GAA is 2.01 and his save percentage is .922 over 9 more games. That’s practically identical to Emery’s record, albeit with a couple more losses posted.

  4. tdrusher225 - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    I’ve never seen a team that does “goaltending by committee” go anywhere.

    • chicagobtech - Apr 7, 2013 at 11:17 PM

      How many times have you seen the “Committee” have a GAA difference of 0.01 on a five game differential? Or a save percentage difference of 0.02?

      • tdrusher225 - Apr 8, 2013 at 3:14 PM

        I meant “goaltending by committee” during the playoffs. BTW this isn’t me bashing on the Blackhawks, I still think they’re a great team and both goalies are solid. I just think, come playoff time, you’ve got to pick your guy and be able to roll him in each night. I don’t think bouncing back and forth between goalies is the best way to assure your team consistent goaltending.

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