Hawks Stick With Darling; Crawford Staying Positive
Chicago Head Coach Joel Quenneville has named Scott Darling as the Blackhawks’ starter for their pivotal game 4 clash with Nashville tonight.
Virginia native Darling helped Chicago over turn a 3-0 deficit in game 1, relieving #1 Corey Crawford at the first intermission after the Predators scored three goals from 12 shots.
Darling turned away all 42 shots faced as the Hawks rallied to win 4-3 in the second overtime period.
Chicago went back to Crawford for game 2; but after a 6-2 loss – in which Crawford played the full 60 minutes, making 29 saves – Chicago handed Darling his first playoff start on Sunday.
Stopping 35 of 37 shots, the 26-year old helped propel the Blackhawks to a 4-2 win; and the University of Maine alumni will take to the ice again tonight, as Chicago look to put themselves on the verge of advancing.
“I’m just happy to be in goal so far, and I’m just happy to be a part of it” Darling told reporters on Monday, as the 6’6″ Masterton Trophy nominee’s impressive season continues.
For Crawford, who back stopped the Blackhawks to Stanley Cup glory in 2013, focus shifts to playing a supporting role – at least for now.
“Not going to lie, it was pretty frustrating at first,” said Crawford, following his demotion in game 3. “I want to be in the net and I want to play. Always did and I always will, but that’s not my job right now. Right now my job is to battle hard in practice, be positive in the room and encourage the guys.”
“Scott’s an awesome guy.” Crawford continued “He’s gone through a lot to get here and he’s been playing awesome. How can you not feel good for him? He’s been great and I’ll just keep pushing him to be at his best.”
Should Darling and the Blackhawks triumph tonight, they will take a 3-1 series lead back to Tennessee on Thursday.