The Chicago Blackhawks thought they had goaltender Corey Crawford straightened out. He was 4-1-0 in six December appearances, with 2.41 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.
But the New Year has been unkind to Crawford. He has won just five of 13 starts. He posted a 3.08 GAA in December with a .894 save percentage. In his lone February start he allowed five goals in 44 minutes, prompting coach Joel Quenneville to move Ray Emery into the starting assignment.
Alas, Emery lost both his starts. In three appearances overall this month, his 4.48 GAA and a .863 save percentage we dreadful.
Porous goaltending has uncharacteristically sloppy defense has fueled a six-game Chicago losing streak. The Chicago Sun-Times wondered if Coach Q was too impatient while rotating Crawford with Emery.
“I don’t know if I’m impatient with goalies,” he told that newspaper. “The last few years have been kind of different here, but at the same time, (Crawford) played the majority of the stretch last year. I don’t know if that’s being impatient or not and this year he has had the bulk of the games.
“Ray has come here and he’s played pretty well when he’s gotten in net. He had one stretch where he got to sustain it. For the most part, he’s been very good.
“I accept criticism in that regard. I thought [there’s been] tough stretches in that area, but goaltending here for the most part has been pretty good.”
No it hasn’t. Chicago ranks near the bottom of the league in goaltender statistics.
It’s no wonder the Blackhawks are tied to various goaltender trade rumors, including some involving Islanders netminder Evgeni Nabokov.