Apparently, Corey Crawford's strong outings on the current road trip have convinced Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville that Crawford should start tonight -- it's been confirmed by coach Q that he will indeed start against the Los Angeles Kings.
That's quite a vote of confidence from Quenneville to start Crawford over the nine-year veteran Marty Turco. But Turco has been shaky, especially on the road trip, and we could be looking at this year's version of Cristobal Huet and Antti Niemi. If Crawford has another good game tonight, it would make sense to go with the goalie who's hot... at least until he's not.
The Kings are off to a good start this season with a 13-8 record. However, that record was even better at 12-3; Los Angeles has lost five of its last six, so maybe this is a good time for the Hawks to be finishing up their trip, to take advantage of a team that hasn't scored more than three goals in any of those six (the 4-3 win against the Bruins, their only win in that stretch, was in a shootout). LA is expected to start Jonathan Quick in goal tonight; he's got an 11-3 record with a .931 save percentage and a 1.90 GAA -- expect a low-scoring game tonight.
A Blackhawks win tonight would give them a winning record on the circus trip and would be, just maybe, a jumping-off point for more wins when they return home against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. They'll then play 10 of 13 at home through the end of December.
Tonight's game begins at 9:30 p.m. CST and will be televised on CSN Chicago.