The Chicago Blackhawks can become the first team in the Western Conference to guarantee their spot in the playoffs with at least a point against the Nashville Predators tonight.
With that being the backdrop for this contest, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville decided to start goaltender Ray Emery for the second time in as many days, according to Chicago Sun-Times’ writer Mark Lazerus.
The rationale behind that move isn’t hard to decipher. Emery earned a 20-save shutout against Nashville on Saturday, so why not go with the hot hand?
Still, starting netminder Corey Crawford has struggled lately after starting the season on a high note. Meanwhile Emery has remained largely consistent with a 13-1-0 record, 1.95 GAA, and .923 save percentage in 17 games. So should he at least be considered as a potential starter for the playoffs?
For his part, Quenneville left the door open to the Chicago Blackhawks taking the unconventional approach of using both of their goaltenders in the postseason.
You never know,” Quenneville told Lazerus. “I don’t want to say no. We’ll see. I’m not worried about it right now.”
Quenneville still has 11 regular season games, including tonight’s, before he has to decide how he’ll handle his goaltending situation in the playoffs.