The Blackhawks upcoming schedule is an absolute beast. With ten games in the next twenty nights, including games against the Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, Dallas Stars and Anaheim Ducks, Ray Emery will have to carry the load for the injured Corey Crawford. Crawford left last night’s 3-0 win over the Blues with another upper-body injury, and is day to day. Ray Emery will have to again carry the load while Crawford is out. With that in mind, it’s time to give Rockford goalie Henrik Karlsson the start tonight vs the Blue Jackets.
While they certainly play hard, the Jackets are not a strong opponent. In fact, they’re dead last in the NHL with 13 points. They’re also without defensemen Jack Johnson, John Moore and James Wisniewski and will also be without forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Derick Brassard. The time is right to give Emery a rest to prepare for the upcoming stretch.
In his NHL career, Karlsson is 5-9 with a 2.79 goals against average and a .905 save percentage.
According to NHL.com’s Brian Hedger, Crawford was on the ice for this morning’s informal skate. If he’s able to dress for tonight’s game, that probably means he could start if absolutely necessary, but I’d be shocked if Karlsson isn’t called up for this game. If he is, he should get the start.