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Blackhawks Mon Feb 04 2013
"That was criminal.We have to call the cops after that performance. We stole two points, he was spectacular. I've never been out-chanced and out-played like that in my life. It was a special performance."- Coach Joel Quenneville
"We obviously got out-played and shouldn't have won that game but he was the only reason we did." - Right Winger Patrick Kane
The team is clearly thanking their lucky stars for a goaltending performance that the Chicago Blackhawks faithful won't soon forget.
In case you haven't heard, Ray Emery saved the Blackhawks' butt Saturday night. The rest of the team played awful, and had no business winning the game. Forty-seven shots on goal by the opponent is usually a recipe for disaster. But Emery made 45 saves in regulation and overtime, along with three more in the shootout to lead the Hawks to a victory against Calgary.
Like most Hawks fans, I was skeptical about Emery when he made the team right before last season. Due to his recent history of hip problems, I thought he would come in for a "cup of coffee" and be done with it. Emery came in and worked his tail off to prove all of his doubters wrong. After last season, the team rewarded him with a one-year contract to be Corey Crawford's backup for a second campaign. And after Saturday night's game, Hawks fans are happy that the team took a flyer out on him.
If you watched the game or follow Twitter during the games, you already know the Hawks needed every single one of the 45 saves Emery made. Most teams don't bounce back from being out-shot by a wide margin. It could have been a long night for Emery, but he stood on his head for a team that is aware in a lockout-shortened season every game counts.
The team has Stanley Cup aspirations. Emery put in a workman-like effort to show fans that the team might not miss a beat if Crawford goes down.
Backup goaltending has been a longstanding problem for the Hawks. It doesn't appear it's going to be an issue for a while.