Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery earned a Nashville rerun
BY MARK LAZERUS firstname.lastname@example.org April 7, 2013 9:35PM
Hawks goalie Ray Emery stops the puck with his shoulder as Predator winger Patric Hornqvist waits on the doorstep for a rebound try in the first period of the Chicago Blackhawks vs. the Nashville Predators NHL game Sunday April 7, 2013 at the United Center. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: April 7, 2013 10:18PM
Ray Emery said last week that there was no goaltender controversy, that Corey Crawford was the No. 1 guy and that he was there in a supporting role. But after earning his second shutout in his last three outings Saturday afternoon, Emery again got the start Sunday against the same Nashville Predators.
“He’s coming off a rock-solid win and deserves to get consideration right back in there,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said before the game.
Of course, it’s standard operating procedure in the NHL that if a goalie comes off a shutout and has adequate rest, he gets the call the next game. Just last week, Crawford had a tremendous outing in a 7-1 win at Detroit, then started the following night at home against the Predators. The front end of both of those back-to-backs were day games, giving each goalie more recovery time.
Quenneville hinted last week that Crawford was his No. 1 guy, citing the fact that he’s played more games (23 to Emery’s 17). But he’s been reluctant to flat-out anoint anyone.
“All that stuff will get resolved with how we’re going,” Quenne-ville said before the game. “Decisions will be made by what’s going on.”
And asked for the umpteenth time this season if he’d be open to playing both goalies in the playoffs, Quenneville again demurred.
“You never know,” he said. “I don’t want to say no. We’ll see. I’m not worried about it right now.”
Hawks winger Daniel Carcillo has struggled since his return from a leg injury that cost him 15 of the first 16 games. But after being a healthy scratch for four of five games in mid-March, Carcillo skated for the sixth time in the last seven on Sunday. He was particularly effective in Saturday’s win at Nashville, with four shots and a couple of good scoring chances.
“It looks like he’s moving better,” Quenneville said. “He’s skating and he’s more effective off the rush, he’s got some back-side pressure, and his attention to detail in our team game’s been in place. We like the energy and the physicality he can add to our lineup. Offensively, [he had] a lot of puck time and some opportunities around the net.’’
Carcillo, who opened the year on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa but has since been on the fourth line, was happy for the opportunity.
“Two great players,” he said. “It’s nice to get time to play there, and it’s even better that we got the win.”
Nashville was without third-leading scorer Mike Fisher, who didn’t make the trip because of a nagging hand injury suffered March 29 on a blocked shot. He did play in the previous two games, including Saturday’s game at Nashville, but the center played on the wing because he was unable to take faceoffs.
◆ Sheldon Brookbank, Jamal Mayers and Dave Bolland were scratched.