Chicago Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson ultimately makes the final call on which goaltender is starting on a given night, but he leans heavily on the team's longtime goaltending coach Jimmy Waite before making a decision.
On Thursday's edition of the Blackhawks Talk Podcast, I sat down with Waite to discuss a variety of topics, one of which included how Waite and Richardson map out the starting goaltending plan together and what factors they consider.
"Obviously performance has a lot to do with it," Waite said. "That's No. 1, probably, the priority, is who's playing the best will probably play a bit more, that's normal. And also how busy the schedule is. Back to backs, we don't like playing a goalie back to back for injury purposes; you want to keep him fresh and when you're fresh, you play better obviously. That's a big part as well.
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"And also when you have a younger goalie, sometimes you want to protect him here and there a bit more, so there's so many things that go into it. Obviously Luke's got the last decision, but he does ask for a lot of input [from] myself."
Waite acknowledged the Blackhawks like to plan ahead a little bit when it comes to, but not too far. They want to keep it fluid.
"Probably a week or so, two weeks maybe," Waite said. "Sometimes we look down the road a couple weeks and say, 'Okay, this game for sure is going to be a split.' And also, another point that we do, if a goalie plays well against a certain team as well, we'll look at that as well. That's another factor.
"Like [Corey] Crawford in Montreal, he couldn't lose against Montreal, so not starting Crawford in Montreal would be crazy, so that's another factor. But usually a week, but that's it."