Chicago Blackhawks: Daniel Carcillo and Ray Emery Earn Respect in Their Debuts
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Patrick Kane was a deserving first star of the contest with a goal and two assists. However, two players whose value to the team has been questioned turned in performances that commanded a measure of respect.
As they prepared for their first game in the Indian head sweater, both players drew the concern of fans. We all know the drill: Carcillo is too much of a wild card. Emery was a sieve in the preseason.
Numbers 13 and 30 didn't inspire a lot of confidence, especially with Carcillo skating with Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa and Emery manning the crease in lieu of Corey Crawford. However, these two new Blackhawks were vital to Chicago's win.
We were treated to Daniel Carcillo on his best, well, good behavior. He was active throughout the game and registered four hits to lead the 'Hawks. He provided an edgy counterpoint to Kane and Hossa all night.
His work on the boards earned him an assist on Chicago's second goal. Hossa never gets the puck without Carcillo's active stick.
He stayed in control of his emotions, drawing an elbowing penalty out of Tobias Enstrom in the second period. He broke up a scoring opportunity early in the final period and made a nice pass to Hossa that nearly resulted in a goal.
Carcillo was a plus-two for the game and showed us all that when he can maintain some discipline on the ice, he can be a valuable addition to the 'Hawks.
Emery's signing has also been called into question, but Thursday he did exactly what a back-up goalie is supposed to do. He kept Chicago in the game and gave them two points on a night where Crawford may or may not have been able to go.
Coach Joel Quenneville said he just wanted to give Emery a start, but Crawford could use the extra time off after missing two days of practice earlier this week.
Emery was victimized for two deflections courtesy of Jim Slater, but settled in and stopped 11 third period shots. That included a point-blank one-timer off the stick of Andrew Ladd, on which Emery made a nice pad save. He also dove on a loose puck as the clock was running out.
On the evening, Emery stopped 27 of 30 shots. Not a perfect performance, but he had a one goal lead going into the third and made it stand up.
We've scarcely broken the seal on the 2011-12 season and shouldn't put too much stock in one game. However, both Carcillo and Emery proved that they are capable of contributing to the Blackhawks with their performances Thursday.
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