Crawford to start for Chicago on Friday, shoots down goalie controversy talk

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Despite the fact Ray Emery’s won three straight games — two via shutout — the Chicago Blackhawks will turn back to Corey Crawford for the start on Friday against Detroit.

Crawford spoke about that decision on Thursday, and was quick to shoot down talk of a potential netminding controversy.

“No controversy at all,” Crawford told the Chicago Tribune. “We’re winning hockey games. We’re both playing well. I see it as a positive thing. That’s exactly what you want is both goalies playing well.

“You don’t want your coach to be afraid to put somebody in. I look it as a good thing for us.”

Crawford hasn’t played since a 4-3 shootout loss to St. Louis on Apr. 4. Since then, it’s been Emery’s show as the 30-year-old stopped 59 of 62 shots faced against the Preds (1-0 shutout), Preds again (5-3 win) and Wild (1-0 shutout).

That string of impressive results had some wondering if Emery was in line to challenge for the No. 1 gig, which has largely been Crawford’s for the last three seasons.

Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville stoked the fires a bit when asked if he’d consider a two-man platoon in net for the playoffs, saying “you never know,” and “I don’t want to say no.”

Statistically speaking, there’s little separating the two this season.

Crawford has received a few more starts (23) than Emery (18), but the rest of the numbers are remarkably close:

Crawford: 15-4-4, 2.01 GAA, .922 save percentage
Emery: 15-1-0, 2.02 GAA, .924 save percentage

As for what the future holds? Quenneville wasn’t offering much, other than confirming Emery and Crawford would be active.

“When we look, we have three sets of three (games) in four nights (left in the regular season). They’re both going to play,” Quenneville said. “Corey has done very well against Detroit.

“Both goalies have played well all year long. We’re making decisions from strength.”