The Chicago Blackhawks always seem to have an issue in net, whether it was the 2009 season of Nikolai Khabibulin and his injury during the Western Conference Finals, or the juggling of Cristobal Huet and Antti Niemi last season.
Now coming into the 2010-2011 season, things were supposed to be a lot less complicated than seasons prior.
Marty Turco was signed during the off-season as the Blackhawks number one goaltender. There were no questions asked, Chicago took Turco in with open arms and called it a successful day.
Not even halfway through the season, Corey Crawford has now been looked at by Joel Quenneville and the rest of the team as the number one goalie in town.
Crawford spent four seasons in the AHL and now has effortlessly become the Blackhawks number one goaltender for the season.
People have been skeptical on both goaltenders as their play can sometimes be irritating and nerve wracking for the unpredictable Blackhawks. Turco and Crawford have been flip flopping the starter roll as of late, leaving people anxious on what is going to happen next.
Turco is sitting at a perfect .500 percentage in the Wins/Losses column, as Crawford is 6 wins above .500 for the season. Crawford has put in one more game than Turco this season. After tonight, it will be two.
Who should be #1?
It is hard to say after such a problematic season on which goaltender should be the definite starter at this time. It took Niemi far into the season to be officially considered the number one goaltender last season.
Turco has double the amount of experience as Crawford does within the NHL. He is even considered one of the smartest goaltenders in all of hockey by many players and NHL associates.
Crawford on the other hand is young and fresh. He can use someone like Turco to train him and solidify him as a goaltender overall.
Equally, the goaltenders are immense assets to the Blackhawks. What is needed is to keep both goalies working hard day in and day out to learn from one another and to thicken the team. No one should have the number one job quite yet for the Blackhawks, time will tell, but for now it would be wiser to keep both working hard for the finish line.