Tuesday, December 31, 2013

When We Have Nothing Else To Complain About:
The Blackhawks Goalie Controversy

Now that I have all of your attention, it is time for a little education, so lets get a few things out in the air. There is no controversy in the net, for the Chicago Blackhawks. The only controversy is firmly planted in meatball heads. The same types of meatballs that wanted Henry Burris, PT Willis, or Will Furrer to start for the Chicago Bears.

This is, in fact, what you all look and sound like:

The Chicago Blackhawks are Corey Crawford's team, and it will stay that way unless he gets more severely injured or he has an epic collapse. Crawford has done nothing for the Hawks but win a Stanley Cup, and rack up a solid record. In fact, he had the most wins of any NHL goaltender, until he hurt his groin. While Anttio Raanta's save percentage is a bit better, Corey Crawford has been far and above better in shootouts. Corey Crawford is 4-2 on Shootouts with an excellent .833 save percentage, while Raanta is 0-3 with a rather paltry .533 save percentage. This would lead any rational (and labeling some of you as rational is QUITE a stretch) person to believe that the Blackhawks defense helps cushion both goalies, but it benefits Raanta much more. When the game is solely left up to him, he's still green, as far as experience and production goes. Just a few mere games ago, Raanta only faced 12 shots and gave up 2 goals. That's FOUR shots a period. FOUR! If that was Corey Crawford, the meatball nation would be marching the streets of Chicago with pitchforks and torches. Why? Because they are meatballs.

Being slightly green goalie is not bad. Raanta has only played 29 games on the smaller US ice surfaces. His total numbers (Rockford and Chicago) are 17-6-3, with a .913 save percentage, 1 shutout, and a 2.49 GAA. These are all very admirable, but not worth pinning your hopes on, just yet. Corey Crawford, at the time of his injury, was 17-6-3 with a .907 save percentage, no shutouts, and a 2.47 GAA. Those are facts. Other than save percentage, the numbers are almost identical. For Joel Quenneville to bench his Stanley Cup winning goalie, at this point, would be absolutely ludicrous and you should all be tarred and feathered for suggesting it. Fans should be more upset if, by some miracle of science, Khabibulin comes back and Raanta is sent back to Rockford, which he would.

Stop, just STOP!

I will agree that the Hawks signing Crawford through the 2020 season was a little excessive, and I won't dispute that one bit. The chance that Crawford is going anywhere, including the bench, is highly unlikely. Basically, miniscule. The Blackhawks COULD trade him now, but would be stupid in doing so and the number of takers, with that contract, are going to be few. He's been solid in net, won them a Stanley Cup last June, his ego is not fragile, and he has done nothing to lose his job. His numbers support this argument and stack up with the top goalies in the NHL.

There are a few young back up goalies in the league putting up great numbers. The Blackhawks just saw Martin Jones from Los Angeles, who is putting up far better numbers than Jonathan Quick, Ben Scrivens, Antti Raanta OR Corey Crawford, but you're not going to see him start in the NHL, on a regular basis, over any of them at this time. When Jonathan Quick returns from injury, he will be the starter in LA and Scrivens will be the backup. Period. Martin Jones will then return to being an AHL goalie. This is because Jonathan Quick has done nothing to lose his position, and neither has Scrivens. If it isn't broken, don't fix it.

Those of you running around the intarwebz tooting your Antti Raanta vuvuzelas (look it up and learn something instead of being a dumb shit meatball), just pipe down. The Blackhawks have stumbled upon a nice backup goalie, and he will continue to be a backup goalie. Enjoy it, and relish the luxury the Blackhawks have fallen into.


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