Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Ray Emery's dozen an NHL record
By Scott Powers
CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery has done something no NHL goaltender has done before, but you wouldn’t know that by talking to him.
Emery is the first NHL goaltender to start off a season with 12 consecutive wins. He improved to 12-0-0 by making 16 saves and shutting out the Calgary Flames in a 2-0 victory on Tuesday.
Emery’s coach and teammates find his historic start to be remarkable, but Emery has reacted to it as if it’s an every-season occurrence. When asked about it following Tuesday’s win, he didn’t give any sign he was happy about his streak. He remained emotionless and answered as straight forward as if he was being asked his social security number.
“I just take it one start at a time,” Emery said.
Whatever works for Emery is fine by the Blackhawks. Because whether Emery had to step in to make consecutive starts when Corey Crawford was injured in February or he’s had to patiently wait his turn for a chance in net (his last start prior to Tuesday came on March 18), Emery has provided consistency every time out.
With Tuesday’s performance, Emery lowered his goals-against average to 2.09 and raised his save percentage to .920. Tuesday was also his first shutout since Feb. 1, 2010, which he had as a Philadelphia Flyer against the Flames.
If Crawford, who has a 2.02 goal-against average and .922 save percentage, wasn’t playing so well, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville might just have a goalie controversy on hands. Instead Quenneville has had the luxury of having two of the league’s top goaltenders this season.
Unlike Emery, Quenneville gushed at the 12 consecutive wins.
“That’s a nice number, that’s a great stat,” Quenneville said. “I thought he had a great game tonight. He’s played two remarkable games against these guys. I thought he was very quick and very big in the net.”
Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy provided another adjective for Emery.
“He’s been awesome,” Leddy said. “You don’t really know how to describe it. Both of our goalies have been playing great. It gives us consistency.”