Naturally, people are looking for a scapegoat, and as has been the case throughout much of the year, Corey Crawford has found himself as the scapegoat. But it’s not like he doesn’t deserve it.
Crawford has given up extremely soft overtime goals in two consecutive games, both to Mikkel Boedker. And we’re talking like Charmin soft. Just terrible goals.
But at the same time, Crawford has been the reason that the Hawks even got to overtime in the first place. The Coyotes have completely outplayed the Hawks in every aspect of the game, needing very late goals in three of the four games to even get it to overtime.
Yes, Crawford has been outplayed by Mike Smith. But at the same time, Smith is getting help from the guys in front of him, and the Hawks haven’t really tested him. Crawford hasn’t gotten offensive support and his defense has been a mess.
Nonetheless, those two overtime goals have Chicago questioning whether or not it will be Crawford remaining in net for Saturday’s Game 5 in Phoenix.
Apparently, Joel Quenneville has toyed with the idea of throwing Ray Emery between the pipes. After starting for a decent stretch throughout the season, as Crawford struggled, we haven’t heard much from Emery, with the exception of the one-year extension he signed a few weeks ago.
But throwing Emery in net wouldn’t be the best idea for the Hawks. He hasn’t been bad this season, but it’s hard to put faith in a guy like Emery to keep the series alive. His sloth-like movements around the net could allow Phoenix to tear him apart.
If the offense or power play are able to convert, we’re not having this discussion. There’s no denying that the goals Crawford allowed were terrible, but some help would probably be nice.
It remains to be seen if Crawford will be the franchise goaltender many expected him to be when he re-signed last summer. That’s irrelevant at this point, though. The goal is to rebound and get back into this series, and I have a hard time seeing the Blackhawks doing that with Emery between the pipes.