Am I the only Blackhawks fan out there who is more comfortable watching the team when Corey Crawford is in goal?
I'm not entirely convinced that Crawford is any sort of long-term answer in net, but I think he's been playing better than incumbent Marty Turco this season. Crawford earned the victory in Friday's 4-1 win at Anaheim. He has now won his last three starts, evening his season record at 4-4.
Crawford has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his last four games. In no game this season has he allowed more than three goals. His save percentage was .916 coming into Friday's game. That is only going to get better after stopping 26 of 27 shots against the Ducks.
Meanwhile, Turco continues to flop around his goal crease like a fish. Oftentimes, it seems like he doesn't have any idea where the hell the puck is. He has been lit up pretty good in his last two outings -- a 7-2 loss in Calgary and a 5-2 loss in San Jose. His save percentage is .904, which is all right, but it seems like Turco gives up a deflating soft goal every game he starts.
Turco is starting to remind me of Cristobal Huet. Last season, I was one of the first people to call for Antti Niemi to replace Huet as the Hawks' starter in net. Joel Quenneville finally made the move in the latter part of the season, and the Hawks went on to win the Stanley Cup.
By no means do I think history is going to repeat itself, but lately I've been feeling like Crawford gives the Hawks a better shot than Turco does. Maybe I'm just predisposed to playing a young, unproven goaltender over a veteran who I know is mediocre at best.
The Hawks also made a roster move today, signing defenseman Garnet Exelby to an NHL contract. Chicago fans might remember Exelby from his days with the Wolves (2001-03). He later went on to play five full seasons with the Atlanta Thrashers (2003-09). He spent last year with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
In 408 career games, Exelby has seven goals and 43 assists. He had been playing at Rockford on a tryout basis, and the Hawks have assigned him to the IceHogs. Whether he'll be recalled soon is anybody's guess, but hey, can he be any worse than Nick Boynton and Jassen Cullimore?