It’s been a couple days since the events in Calgary, and many fans of the Chicago Blackhawks still aren’t completely positive as to what exactly took place on Saturday night.
That game saw the Blackhawks go to their third consecutive shootout. Marian Hossa scored an equalizer to make it 2-2 with just two seconds remaining in the third period. The Hawks went on to finally win a game in the shootout on the stick of Patrick Kane, who was the only player from either team to pot one there.
But the story of the night was Ray Emery and the absurd performance that he put on against the Calgary Flames. It was something that literally nobody saw coming after his slow start that questioned whether or not the Blackhawks should seek other options for their backup spot.
In his first start against the Phoenix Coyotes, Emery surrendered four goals. He just looked awful. He was slower than even last year, post-to-post and around the crease, and looked like he was having a hard time seeing the puck. Saturday was a different story entirely, though.
The Blackhawks were criticized last season for not having a single “goalie win” to their credit. Neither Corey Crawford or Emery stole a game for the Hawks in the way that goaltenders for other playoff contenders did. But early on, Crawford has already stolen a couple, and Emery stole one in a big way against the Flames.
Emery posted 45 saves against in Calgary. He was simply brilliant all night. He looked faster moving around and kept the Hawks in a game that they had absolutely no business winning. It was certainly redemption after it looked like Joel Quenneville was going to ride out Corey Crawford for the remainder of the season, for fear of Emery’s decline.
The question is whether or not we should make something out of Emery’s excellent outing. Is this just a guy who had a great game and we’ll never see it again, or is the Blackhawks’ goaltending situation much better than we all imagined?
It’s a question that probably cannot be answered right now. Emery looked good, no doubt, but compared with how poorly he played against Phoenix less than two weeks ago, it’s tough to say that his starts will lean more towards what he did in Calgary.
If Emery does come out and play at a level that is anything close to resembling his start against the Flames, then the Blackhawks could actually be set in goal. After everyone spent the entire lockout sitting around wondering if they should explore other options between the pipes.