Who Controls the Hawks’ Crease Next Season?

One of the most talked about topics in The Cave as of late is who is going to be starting in the blue crease for the Chicago Blackhawks. When the Blackhawks got Robin Lehner, it felt almost like they were setting up for a Vancouver Canucks goaltending controversy as both are amazing goalies in their own right. But how will it work in Chicago? Who gets the keys to the crease in game 1? I’m not sure, but I definitely think there are some sports betting sites, where bets could be made on who is the starter, because I think it is such a tough decision. Usually, when things are cloudy and the bet is on something not usual, there are also great odds. 

Below is Kenn’s thoughts on the what I’m calling, the “2019/2020 goaltending controversy.” Below are Kenn’s thoughts on how his Hawks are going to manage their goalie situation.

Being a hockey fan since I was 7 years of age, it is in my blood, I am an avid hockey fan! I am now in my sixties and it seems like I am an even bigger fan now! Somethings do get better with time.

I always speak of the games and players from years gone by, but I will attempt to focus on today's players and what is going in Chicago’s net. As a fan of the game, especially of the Chicago Blackhawks, let's talk about the goaltending of this great franchise. The storied past of their goaltenders, from the great Glen Hall, Tony Esposito, Eddie Belfour, etc. shows the team never lacked to possess some of the greatest goalies to play the game. However, in today’s hockey the Hawks have probably the best tandem with Corey Crawford and Robin Lehner. 

Crawford and Lehner definitely give the Hawks a one-two punch in goal, which will most certainly benefit the Hawks in the upcoming season. The fact that the Hawks have 2 very capable goalies at their disposal, but also makes decisions very tough for management. While it may end up being something that Vegas or people are actually taking odds on and setting bets, I can tell you, Jordie and myself argue over who will be in the blue paint at the United Centre for the home opener quite often. 

It' is hard to argue against the fact that Corey Crawford remains a top notch goaltender in the league, even with concussion / vertigo issues, plus he is approaching 35 years of age, not that 35 is old for a goalie, and as goalies generally, get age, but teams always seem to be looking for younger players to develop. If Crawford stays healthy, he will no doubt carry his team deep. However, that being said, the acquisition of Lehner not playing the roll of backup but as a 1 to 2 punch in net, will most likely make the Hawks once again a Stanley Cup contender. 

I am sure many of you will not agree as it will also depend on their defense and such but with Andrew Shaw being reacquired in the off season, a spark will surely be back in this storied franchise. Crawford is certainly an experienced goaltender and has proven himself a winner. Lehner can learn from him while helping ease the load of the long NHL season. 

If Crawford stays healthy, it will be an amazing tandem goaltending team, but if Crawford does have his medical issues at any point during the season, Robin Lehner will be there to take the lead role and carry the team as he showed in Long Island. Robin has stated that he's gone through personal issues himself while showing at the same time that he is a strong person mentally. With what both Crawford and Lehner have gone through, i think that this will not only make them a force to reckon with and envy, but they will support each other in the roles they play to make the Hawks a serious contender once again. Corey Crawford and Robin Lehner could quite possibly be Vezina Trophy winners also. Whether you agree or disagree with my thoughts, you cannot dispute the track record of these two great goaltenders of the greatest game in the world. 

I’m saying it here: Crawford starts the home opener, however, Lehner will be ready and waiting for that chance to take Crawford’s job.

-Kenn Shaw, Owner & Creator of the Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave and Hawks fan for 50+ years.