Scott Darling will make his second straight start tonight against Anaheim, after his stellar NHL debut in Sunday’s 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators.
“Certainly. his play is the reason he’s getting right back in there,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “Rock solid. Every time he’s been in the net for us, from preseason scrimmages to exhibition games to last game — did well in Rockford — he’s played very well. Chance to come right back.”
The Hawks suddenly have an abundance of goalies, as Corey Crawford rejoined the team for the morning skate. Tonight will be the fifth straight game Crawford has missed with an upper-body injury, but he said he’s “getting pretty close” and will join the team on its upcoming trip to Ottawa and Toronto. He wouldn’t rule out playing against the Senators.
“It’s really day by day right now,” he said.
For Crawford, the watching has been the hardest part.
“Very frustrating” he said. “I don’t know if there’s anything worse in sports than when you’re injured and watching the game, either in the room or on TV. Pretty frustrating. I just want to get out there and play but you have to be smart, too, and make sure I’m 100 percent before I go.”
With Crawford, Antti Raanta and Darling — as well as veteran Michael Leighton in Rockford — the Hawks have tremendous depth in net, something they didn’t have last season.
“Oh, it’s the best we’ve had, the deepest we’ve had,” Quenneville said. “The options definitely give us a lot to sort through when we’re evaluating who’s the guy, or who gets the next opportunity. This was the case making the decision who was starting here tonight. So it’s a good position to be in. We got Leighton in the minors, as well. It’s a healthy position to be in, and the deepest we’ve been.”