After a surprisingly effective first season, Corey Crawford came crashing back down to Earth in 2011-12 – and the Chicago Blackhawks fell with him.
Despite rumored flirtations with Roberto Luongo and confirmed ones with Martin Brodeur, Chicago will roll with Crawford and Ray Emery just like last season. So can that duo bounce back?
When it comes to Crawford, the positive and negative stuff is equal; he played 57 regular games in both of the last two seasons. At 27 but with limited NHL experience, one can argue that he has at least some room to improve.
As mediocre as Crawford’s regular season was, many believed that his poor performance against the Phoenix Coyotes mad the difference during Chicago’s first-round series.
Emery’s path back to the NHL is a great story of resiliency, yet it’s tough to tell if he can stay healthy enough to top last year’s 15 wins in 34 games played.
On the flip side, Emery might have his health issues behind him and really be able to turn things around.
Without any significant additions on defense, the Blackhawks are banking big-time on their goalies bouncing back.