In previous seasons the Chicago Blackhawks have split playing time between two goalies. This was supposed to be a season with one solidified goalie for the Chicago Blackhawks, and it has been for the most part.
It just hasn’t been the goalie that was anticipated to take the reins.
Coming into the season newly signed free agent Marty Turco was expected to be the team’s primary starter. Corey Crawford was supposed to be the backup and the potential goalie of the future. But after Turco struggled, Crawford became the goalie of the present, and thrived in that role.
Through the first 50 games of the season, Crawford has a 16-10-2 record, with a 2.19 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. Turco, on the other hand, has a 10-10-2 record, with a 3.02 GAA and a .898 save percentage.
But coming out of the All-Star break it is Turco who will get the initial start.
“It’s knowing you personnel,” former Blackhawk and current analyst, Eddie Olczyk said on the Danny Mac Show of head coach Joel Quenneville’s choice. “And Joel and Stephane Waite, the terrific goaltending coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, know their goaltenders pretty well.”
LISTEN: Eddie Olczyk On the Danny Mac Show
Quenneville and Waite have gotten the most out of both goaltenders this season. They’ve balanced the strengths of a young and veteran goaltender.
“Sometimes there are athletes, in general, who can take some time off, completely away, have one day of practice, and then just jump right in there and you know you’re going to get consistency and you know what you’re going to get,” Olczyk said. “And then for some players you don’t know what the hell you’re going to get.”
This is a clear example of how having a veteran goalie like Turco allows the Blackhawks to have the best chance to earn two points on every night.
“When Corey doesn’t practice a whole heck of a lot, it takes him a while,” Olczyk said. “And I think to throw him into a game I think would not give this team the best opportunity to win.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt. You’re going to need Marty. Moving forward, I don’t think there’s any doubt in my mind..it’s Corey Crawford’s crease to lose.”