The Chicago Blackhawks will give Ray Emery the start tonight when they take on the Wild in Minnesota (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN).
It’ll be his third start in a row — and that’s an interesting development.
Over the weekend, Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville played coy when asked about the possibility of platooning both Emery and Corey Crawford in goal for the playoffs.
“You never know,” Quenneville told ESPN Chicago. “I don’t want to say no. We’ll see.”
Emery got back-to-back games against the Preds over the weekend and responded with a pair of wins, including a 20-save shutout on Saturday that left Quenneville impressed.
“I thought he was in control around the net against that team,” he said of Emery. “There are a lot of scrambles, a lot of loose stuff.
“They create traffic, and I thought he found pucks and froze them and looked very big.”
This will be the second time this season Emery has started more than two games in a row. The other stretch came in mid-February, when he started four straight while Crawford was out with an upper-body injury.
Without reading too much into this latest decision, it almost sounds as though Quenneville is doing two things.
One, rewarding Emery for his recent performances, and 2) testing the 30-year-old by seeing how he holds up to a starter’s workload.
“Based on how [Emery’s] playing, it gives him the chance to get some consecutive games,” Quenneville told NHL.com. “We’ll see how he handles it.”