Get used to hearing Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville name Ray Emery his starting goaltender.
In announcing Monday that Emery would be in the net for Tuesday's game against the Avalanche in Denver, Quenneville gave every indication the veteran has a clear opportunity to replace the inconsistent Corey Crawford as the Hawks' No. 1 goalie for the stretch run.
“He's played very well basically every time he's been in the net for us this year,” Quenneville said following practice on Monday. “He's been consistent, he's been solid, predictable, dependable – the guys played very well in front of him last (Friday at Calgary).”
Emery is 11-4-2 with a .904 save percentage.
Quenneville said he has no idea how the goalie situation is going to play out, which is pretty much what he has said the last two seasons about this time when the top job changed hands.
Antti Niemi took over the No. 1 job from Cristobal Huet late in the 2009-10 season while it was Crawford grabbing the net from Marty Turco around this time last year.
Quenneville wouldn't compare this situation with the other two.
“It's different, I think, because both guys have had some stretches where they've been rock solid and dependable,” Quenneville said. “Crow's a young guy that's getting better. It's still a situation where we like the options and can got to either guy at any time.
“In Ray's situation he hasn't a great chance to run with it. Corey's had a lot of key games here recently. We'll see how it plays out.
“Corey was real solid for us last year and we'll see how it plays out now, but we're still going to be looking for him.”
Here were Quenneville's forward lines and defense pairs at practice Monday:
Shaw – Toews – Kane
Sharp – Bolland – Hossa
Stalberg – Morrison – Kruger
Bickell – Mayers – Frolik
Keith – Seabrook
O'Donnell – Hjalmarsson
Leddy - Montador