The dynamic duo – The Crow & The Razor


photo by Maggie Avila

photo by Maggie Avila

Chicago, IL – When a sports team is playing almost flawlessly, there has to be something that sports fans can worry and debate about. So far this season it has been the goalie position.  Coming into the season there is no question in Chicago the biggest concern was the netminding justified or not. 

Like every other question this year the Blackhawks have answered this question as well yet the Chicago media is concerned who is the number one netminder for the team and who will be in goal come playoff time.

Some fans likewise seem to either be in the Ray Emery camp or the Corey Crawford camp as to which one should be in goal come playoff time. Some fans think it doesn’t matter as both wear the same jersey and bring different skills to the table for the team.

Statistically the two goalies are just about even and as a tandem are dominating the NHL. No other team has both of their goalkeepers in the top ten in both GAA and Sv%. Only the Boston Bruins have two goalie in the top ten in Sv% with Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin.  If that is a problem having two goalies top ten in league stats I’m sure the Blackhawks will take it.

Both netminders bring different things in net and different personality to the net but both are equally capable to man the nets for Chicago. In alphabetical order here are observations on the two goalies

Corey Crawford  

Photo by Maggie Avila

Photo by Maggie Avila

Corey brings a big presence and athletic flexibility to the nets. Corey has very good lateral movement in the net and is in the true butterfly goalie style. This year Corey has had to overcome maybe the mental obstacles that being a netminder presents. In the past he maybe dwelled on mistakes in game and now he has jumped that hurdle and seems to move past in game mistakes which is huge as he can refocus and remain in the moment.

Below are Corey’s stats so far this season.  To date Corey has manned the nets for the majority of games this season and his record of 18-4-5 is well let’s say pretty darn good. His Shut outs would have been five if it were not for an injury in one game that Ray Emery had to relieve him in and a goal against Detroit in the last 30 secs of the game. To say that these stats are not worthy of a #1 goalie status is absurd.

 

GP

W

L

OT

GA

SA

SV

SV%

GAA

SO

PIM

REGULAR SEASON

27

18

4

5

53

697

644

.924

1.99

3

2

LEAGUE RANK

22ND

9TH

46TH

7TH

28TH

22ND

22ND

9TH

4TH

7TH

5TH

Photo by Maggie Avila

Photo by Maggie Avila

Ray Emery

Ray brings a steadiness and calmness to the Chicago net. It never seems like Emery gets rattled and when the opposition does try and rattle Emery you get the sense the opposition skate away for the blue paint black and blue as he will not stand for any nonsense in his net. Ray Emery is so positionally sound he always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Ray has had to overcome physical obstacles and maybe changed his way of playing goalie to adjust to physical limitations and he has beautifully.

Below are Ray’s stats so far this season.  To date Ray has probably had the goalie game of the year when he literally defeated the Calgary Flames singlehandedly when the Hawks did not have their best game in front of him due to travel fatigue. Ray also has three shutouts this year. Like Crawford to say that these stats are not worthy of a #1 goalie status is absurd.

 

GP

W

L

OT

GA

SA

SV

SV%

GAA

SO

PIM

REGULAR SEASON

20

16

1

0

35

452

417

.923

1.91

3

0

LEAGUE RANK

30TH

15TH

65TH

58TH

44TH

38TH

38TH

10TH

3RD

7TH

20TH

 

Who the Blackhawks play in goal for the playoffs or if they even split duties ,doen’t matter and should not matter to anyone. All year long, both goalies have proved that they are in fact one of the strengths of this team and allowed the team to secure the best winning record in the regular season.  Why would this change in the playoffs?

The Blackhawks are fourth overall on the Penalty Kill, lead the league in goals against per game and plus minus. These stats are a tribute to both goaltenders along with the team defense in front of them. Their team mates play well in front of both, the coaches have done a good job of balancing both of their work loads and do not have any qualms about putting in either goalie.

Photo by Maggie Avila

Photo by Maggie Avila

While it seems to be a human tendency to want to quantify things as who is the #1 and who is the backup in this situation and on this team I’m not sure it really applies.

For fans both goalies are good, very good and are equally capable of bailing out a team if it gets in trouble which should let fans rest more easily going into the playoffs. To say that the Blackhawks have problem in net or a controversy well the only problem is how does a coach decide who he will put in net and how to keep both goalies rested yet sharp.

As far as the controversy thing, well that is just some fodder for fans to debate and scribes and bloggers to discuss and write about. Thanks Corey and Ray, Ray and Corey for not only manning our nets but for providing us with great story lines as well.

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