The 2017-18 NHL season has shown that a win is hard to come by for the Chicago Blackhawks without decent goaltending. The Blackhawks can’t afford to start next year with the current goalie core or it will be more of the same inconsistent play.
Now it’s safe to assume that Corey Crawford is injury prone and in essence has become a liability for the Blackhawks. When Crawford is healthy he’s among the best goalies in the NHL, but the Blackhawks need to be prepared for him to miss time next year.
Next year the Blackhawks need to find a veteran backup that can hold down the fort in the absence of Corey Crawford. Forsberg wasn’t ready to fill a role that big, especially with limited NHL experience.
The Blackhawks didn’t exactly help his confidence by playing musical chairs with the goalies, not allowing him to develop. Next year Forsberg would be better suited in the AHL and at most the 3rd string goalie.
Currently, the goalie depth chart for the Chicago Blackhawks looks like this:
- Corey Crawford
- Anton Forsberg
- J-F Berube
- Jeff Glass
- Collin Delia
- Ivan Nalimov
- Wouter Peeters
- Matt Tomkins
Besides Crawford and Ivan Nalimov, the rest of the depth chart is largely composed of AHL goalies and fringe NHL backup goalies.
Nalimov, a 23-year-old Russian goalie is currently playing in the KHL for Salavat Yulaev and still has another year left. He’s put up some good numbers this year, however, he’s still a few years away from joining the Blackhawks.
Unfortunately, this years draft class isn’t that great for goalies and the Blackhawks would be better off using those picks on defensemen. In fact Antti Raanta and Scott Darling were both undrafted, so the draft isn’t the end-all concerning goalies.
Hopefully the Blackhawks will strengthen the goalie depth chart in the offseason, this year it sure didn’t do them any favors.