The Chicago Blackhawks need captain Jonathan Toews to get healthy and get back in the lineup, but more than anything else, they need consistent, stable, strong goaltending. If the Blackhawks can play confidently in front of their goalie, they certainly have the talent to make another long playoff run. If they can’t, it’s hard to see how they will still be playing in the month of May, let alone June. Is Ray Emery the answer? For now, Emery has supplanted Corey Crawford as the No. 1 goalie and has started five consecutive games. He didn’t get the victory last night, but he looked sharp throughout the game. Emery got beat only twice, once on a 4-on-1 break and once on a bang-bang play directly in front of the net. Emery did well enough to earn a victory, but Jonathan Quick was even a bit better. Here’s a sampling of how the Chicago media covered last night’s game, followed by some additional postgame quotes from the Blackhawks’ dressing room…
COACH JOEL QUENNEVILLE
(on the game…) “We were lucky that we weren’t down two (goals) there, with that start we had. They had a power-play there, had 14 shots early, and had an empty-net on their power-play as well, at the end of it. I thought we worked ourselves back into the game with a good second period, didn’t like the goals we gave up tonight, but we had a real strong finish, kind of comparable to the Rangers game.
“We haven’t been very productive in (the shootout), in stretches all year, obviously our guy that we look to a lot [Jonathan Toews] wasn’t there tonight. We were deeper in the shootout. I don’t know if we’ve gone that deep in a while, but you give guys opportunities, we practice it a lot.
“I thought it was important in that game, that first period, [Ray Emery] was big. They throw a lot of pucks, they have a lot of traffic, they crash the net, and they create chaos there. I thought (Emery) stood his ground and battled hard and kept us in the game at an important time. We had two empty nets that we hit the post, would have been nice to get one of those to go in.”
(on the game…) “We had a tough first 10 minutes, but I thought we did a great job of coming back from that and battling back. We tied it up once and came back to lead, and had a big third, gave ourselves a chance to win. You want the two points, but every point’s important this time of the year. It’s important that we came back from that, and important that we got a point. This is a great place to play, the team plays really well in this building. More often than not we’re going to get our goals, and as far as my part goes, I just need to play solid in there for the guys.”