Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks, Ray Emery May Part Ways After Unfortunate Play Against Pens

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Ray Emery #30 of the Chicago Blackhawks protects the net against the Pittsburgh Penguins during a preseason game at Consol Energy Center on September 22, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Penguins defeated the Blackhawks 4-1.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Keegan McNallyCorrespondent IIOctober 1, 2011

When a goalie gets offered a tryout contract during the preseason, there are two simple rules to follow to ensure a roster spot in October. 

Play solid. Don't get fancy.

Ray Emery followed neither of those rules during his second preseason outing on Friday night against the Penguins

While the Blackhawks were on a first period power play, Emery made an unfortunate error and allowed Matt Cooke to score from center ice.

Although it may seem that Emery was simply trying to avoid a dangerous footrace into the corner by playing the puck, there is no doubt that Emery was a bit overzealous on the play. His play cost his team an early go-ahead goal and most likely the game as well.

Emery also let in two more "soft" goals on only 18 shots. That's about as far from solid as you can get in a preseason exhibition game. His overall save percentage was a measly .833 (15 saves on 18 shots). 

A goaltender's main job is to give their team a chance to win night after night. This doesn't always mean standing on their heads every game; it merely means that soft goals have to be eliminated and large, game-changing mistakes have to happen infrequently, if at all.

How can the coaching staff here in Chicago choose to pick up a contract with a goaltender who hasn't been able to provide his team with a victory?

The Blackhawks outshot the Penguins 37-19 but still managed to lose 4-2 because of the weak play by Emery. 

Either Ray Emery needs to find a way to be convincing in the last Chicago preseason game on October 2nd or the brass for the Blackhawks has to abandon this project and go with young Alexander Salak to back up Corey Crawford. 

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