Chicago Blackhawks Insider: Is It Turco or Crawford in the Playoffs?

Bryan DietzlerSenior Analyst IApril 6, 2011

MONTREAL, CANADA - APRIL 5:  The puck goes wide past Corey Crawford #50 of the Chicago Blackhawks during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on April 5, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

The Blackhawks are on the cusp of making the playoffs once again and are poised to defend their Stanley Cup title. 

They have been having some moderate success at the goalie position this year, with both Marty Turco and Corey Crawford coming in and out of the lineup on a regular basis and both of them having their good and bad moments. 

But with the playoffs coming, Chicago needs much more good moments from time to time—they need them all of the time.

It’s clear that Turco is the most experienced goalie and has playoff experience where Crawford does not. While with the Dallas Stars, Turco played in 47 playoff games giving him a lot of experience playing in the NHL’s second season. The Blackhawks are lucky to have him on the roster with his experience.

But the goalie who has the hot hand right now is Crawford.

Crawford has been in the net for 52 games (through the second of April) and has been part of 31 wins. Turco, who has played in 29 games has 11 wins under his belt. 

But keep in mind, a goalie isn’t the only factor that helps a team win or lose; it’s a team effort.

And Crawford has seen more time in the net than Turco.

So, which way do they go in the playoffs?

They have to go with the guy that has the hot hand and right now that’s Crawford.

Crawford gives them the best chance to win and should at least get the initial start. If they find that Crawford struggles early then they can put Turco in and hopefully get some continuity there and also hope that he can help them win in the playoffs.

The whole Crawford/Turco debate has been ongoing all season long and has been pretty hot at times. There are people that feel that Turco is the best guy to have in the net for the Blackhawks and feel that he has the experience that the Blackhawks need in net.

First things first, though. Chicago has to make the playoffs and right now they are poised to do so but have little time to do it. If they can get into the playoffs, then they have a huge advantage thanks to their experience and could get back to the Stanley Cup Finals. 

They just have to get over their next obstacle and get in.

Can the Blackhawks get to where they need to be and get back into the playoffs? These next few games will tell us just what they are able to do. 

It’s not going to be an easy end to the season that’s for sure.

The Blackhawks have some tough games ahead of them, but if they can get into the playoffs and win their first series, they could easily defend their Stanley Cup title.