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Q not concerned with goalie controversy

2/27/2013
Corey Crawford will get the start in goal against the Blues on Thursday. Don McPeak/USA TODAY Sports

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville isn't concerned about facing a potential goaltender controversy between Corey Crawford and Ray Emery come playoff time.

"I'm not worrying about the playoffs now," Quenneville said after Wednesday's practice at Johnny's IceHouse West. "It's a long way away. We don't have to make any decisions before we get there. A lot of times those decisions are made by how things are going."

Both goaltenders have been important in the Blackhawks' 19 games points streak to start the season. The Blackhawks are 16-0-3 in the 48-game regular-season schedule.

Crawford is 8-0-3 with a 1.50 goals-against average, which is third in the league, and a .941 save percentage, which also ranks second. Crawford missed four games due to upper-body injury earlier in February, but he returned to have a shutout against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday. He is also scheduled to start against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday.

Emery improved to 8-0-0 with the Blackhawks' 3-2 overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday. He replaced Crawford in all four games Crawford sat out due to injury. Emery has a 2.08 goal-against average, which ranks ninth, and a .927 save percentage, which ranks eighth. He is also 2-0 on shootouts and has made five saves on six shootout attempts.

Quenneville has been pleased with both goaltenders this season and hasn't been afraid to turn either against any opponent. He said Wednesday he didn't think he had to make a definitive decision about his goaltender right now.

"I don't think so," Quenneville said. "I think the way we're going along here these guys are making it very easy on us to make the decision who is playing in net. When I say easy, no matter who you're going to put in there it's the right decision. Game in and game out, their consistency in net has been tremendous.

"Corey going into the season we anticipated him getting a little bit more. Now he's back playing, we'll see how that plays out. But certainly Ray earns a chance to get right back in there whenever we consider him the next game. He's done everything he can do to get more. He's gotten more this year as well. Corey has the best stretch he's had since he's been here. He's been very consistent. No matter who we discuss, it's been positive."