(MCT) — CHICAGO — The Blackhawks will begin the lockout-shortened schedule with nine games in 15 days, starting and ending with back-to-back games.
One position that will have its depth tested early is goaltending. Starter Corey Crawford figures to get the bulk of the action, but backup Ray Emery will play an important role.
“Depth at any position in a schedule when there are 48 games in 99 days is a good thing,” Emery said Monday following the second day of Hawks training camp. “You don’t know what your role is going to be, but when called upon you just have to make sure you’re ready. You always want to play as much as you can, but that’s a coach’s decision and my job is just to be ready when I get the opportunity.”
“They’re certainly both going to get a chance to play — their play will dictate how much,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “We’ll get them their proper rest, but (with) the busy stretches I’m sure we’ll see both of them in back-to-back games.”
During the offseason and lockout, Emery spent time in Toronto preparing for the season and arrived in Chicago this week.
“I feel good, not playoff mode or anything like that, but I’m just using every day to get as prepared as possible by Saturday and then continuing on,” Emery, 30, said.
Cough: Center Marcus Kruger missed Monday’s camp session with the flu. Quenneville said the team is taking precautions to avoid an epidemic among the team.
“I’ve seen it happen and it can cause major disruptions to your team,” Quenneville said. “We’ve talked about it ... and mentioned it again (Monday). We’re aware of how bad it is this year, so we’ll make sure in a 48-game season that we’re on top of it.”
Fitting in: Quenneville has a new assistant coach as longtime friend Jamie Kompon is on board, replacing the fired Mike Haviland.
“Jamie’s great,” Quenneville said. “Technically, he’s sound. He’ll be helping out the power play. He’ll be working with our staff in all areas and all aspects of how we prepare our team and our game. We’ve been around him, so we’re familiar with him. So, he’s fitting very nicely.”
Power move: Quenneville said winger Viktor Stalberg will see time on the power play this season.