Friday, February 3, 2012
Blackhawks GM confident in goalies
By Jesse Rogers
CALGARY, Alberta -- Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is already on record saying he's looking to trade for a defenseman before the deadline on Feb. 27. But on Friday he stood by his goaltenders, in particular, Corey Crawford.
"I'm happy with the guys we have," Bowman said before his team took on the Calgary Flames. "We need to be stronger in that area but they've proven they're good goaltenders. [Thursday] night it wasn't a good performance, but just two nights before that Corey had a great game."
The Hawks rank second to last in the Western Conference in goals allowed and Crawford is near the bottom of the goalie rankings in both save percentage and goals-against average. Bowman is hoping for a return to form.
"[Crawford] was dynamic for us last season," Bowman said. "He pretty much helped us get into the playoffs and then he was dynamite in the playoffs. We're only seven, eight months removed from that. Success can help boost your confidence and get you back in short order. That's the way we approach it."
Ray Emery started in Crawford's spot Friday against the Flames.
Bowman said there is a "logjam" in regards to possible trades for a defenseman, as many teams are unwilling to part with NHL players because they still believe they are in the race. He dismissed the notion of "overpaying" for a player for the same reason. No one wants to part with NHL talent for prospects right now.
"I think anyone that says they are close to a trade is full of it at this point," Bowman said.
Bowman was asked specifically about Anaheim's Francois Beauchemin and Carolina's Tim Gleason. Both defensemen signed long-term deals recently to stay with their respective clubs.
"We move on to other guys," Bowman said. "So you just work down the list."
Bowman claims there are a lot of teams looking for defensemen, and fixing the Hawks' defensive problems probably has to come from within.
"We need to take pride in playing defense," he said. "We take pride in scoring goals. We need to in defending."
Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPN 1000 and ESPNChicago.co.