After playing a large role in the Blackhawks first two series wins, Joel Quenneville is sticking with the hot hand, Scott Darling, between the pipes for Game 4 against Nashville over starter Corey Crawford.
But one former teammate believes that's not necessarily a bad thing for Crawford.
“It’s probably good for him to sit back, get some practices in, work with the goalie coach, and build some confidence back up,” Brian Campbell, who played with Crawford in 2010-11, said on ESPN 1000 with Carmen and Jurko on Monday. “The nice benefit is Darling in net. When he’s been in the net, he’s outplayed the Vezina Trophy candidate on the other side every game. I think you have to ride him now and see what happens. They’re in a great situation.”
Goalies often talk about having a short memory when it comes to giving up a bad goal or putting a rough outing behind them, but Crawford hasn’t faced this type of adversity in quite a while.
Still, the track record shows he’s capable of bouncing back.
“I think you look at what he’s done in his career, he played four years in the minors, he battled his way [to the NHL], he’s won a Stanley Cup,” The current Florida Panthers defenseman said. “He’s played in pressure situations. He’s probably not been the best at all times, but no goalie is and no player is.”
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But perhaps the real question mark surrounds the group Campbell was once a part of.
The Blackhawks rely heavily on their top-4 defensemen, especially late in games, which could potentially expose their lack of depth on the blue line down the road.
“It’s a great question. I think they’re going to have to answer that hopefully,” Campbell said. “Obviously, Duncan [Keith] can take a big workload on and he’s done it his whole career, but these guys have played a lot of hockey over the years. … I think it’s going to be a challenge.”