Chicago Sun-Times

Crawford or Emery? Blackhawks still deciding on their starting goaltender for Game 5

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With a couple of soft goals allowed in overtime, the Blackhawks seemingly have a goalie conundrum on their hands ... again.

Coach Joel Quenneville said not long before the team boarded their plane for Phoenix Friday afternoon that they are still deciding who will start in Game 5 against the Coyotes on Saturday with the Hawks on the brink of elimination.

"We're talking about that," Quenneville said when asked if Corey Crawford will remain in goal. "We'll talk about our scenario. I don't foresee making any announcements."

Crawford has actually done all right in regulation against the Coyotes, but he's allowed to soft goals to Mikkel Boedker in consecutive overtimes. The Hawks trail the Coyotes 3-1 in the series.

Here's Boedker's game-winner from Game 4 from a bad-angle:

And here's Boedker's game-winner in Game 5, where he jammed it through Crawford:

"That's a tough goal," Quenneville said after Game 4. "We were in their zone, had some momentum, had some pressure and some one-on-one. It was a tough break at the end again, kind of comparable to the last game. Brutal ending. I think both games ended on a tough note for us."

In the four games this series, Crawford is 1-3 with a .900 save percentage and 2.64 goals-against average. Backup Ray Emery hasn't played since allowing four goals on 30 shots in a shootout loss against the Minnesota Wild on April 1.

The Hawks have stood by Crawford, who had an up-and-down regular season, throughout the playoffs.

"The goaltender is the very last line of defense," defenseman Duncan Keith. "They can be a hero one day and a goat the next day.

"Corey has been great for us. He played for us in the playoffs last year. He had his best game last year in the playoffs when we were facing elimination in Game 7 [against the Canucks]. We've got a lot of confidence in him and both of our goalies. We've got a lot of confidence in Corey and Ray for that matter. Like I said, it's one game tomorrow that we've got to win and get back to Chicago."

(Image source: AP)

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Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times since 2005, covering the Hawks since 2009. He's also helped cover the Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools. Follow him on Twitter:@adamjahns

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This page contains a single entry by Adam L. Jahns published on April 20, 2012 1:12 PM.

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