The Chicago Blackhawks have addressed a goaltending fear they might have, but if that fear never comes true they could have an elite tandem in 2019-20.
The Chicago Blackhawks no longer appear to be worried about how their goaltending would be in 2019-20. Corey Crawford has been an elite goalie during his NHL career but he has been dealing with with some concussion issues, Cam Ward is gone, and Collin Delia is a question mark as far as the impact he can make.
Then they signed Robin Lehner to secure their goaltending tandem. If Crawford is healthy they will each get plenty of starts and if he is not they will have a number one goalie. Lehner was nominated for the Vezina trophy in 2018-19 as the best goalie in the league. So there is a really good chance that they will have some solid goaltending.
Some people think that Lehner being as good as he was last season was a product of a defensive system that New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz implemented and maybe that is true to some extent. That doesn’t mean he isn’t an awesome goalie. He might not have all world numbers again but he is an upgrade over some of the other backup/potential starter options.
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman told the media that he believes that they not have the best goalie tandem in the league. If they both have career years, that very well could be the case. I actually agree with that statement to some degree. It has the potential to be, both guys need to be great in order to say that and they both need to have career numbers in order to claim they are the best tandem in the league.
The Blackhawks gave up a million goals in 2018-19 but they added some players that they hope will help out their goalies. That doesn’t mean they will drastically improve but they also might. Whether or not this is the best duo in the NHL is irrelevant, all that matters is that they give the Blackhawks a chance to win every single game.
There are some other goalie tandems to consider like Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros of the Nashville Predators, Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak of the Boston Bruins, and Andrei Vasilevskiy with Curtis McElhinney of the Tampa Bay Lightning to name a few. These are all guys who will complete great goaltending teams and are all on Stanley Cup contenders. It will be hard for Crawford and Lehner to live up to that but they certainly have the talent.