Corey Crawford won't lie about his struggles or frustrations. The Blackhawks' No. 1 goalie knows he can be much better, and he's doing his best to get a grip on it all.

"Yeah, it's bothering me," Crawford said Wednesday before the Hawks left for their game Thursday against the New York Islanders.

Ray Emery will start in Crawford's place, but it's too early to declare a full-blown goalie controversy. While there were concerns of a potential sophomore slump entering the season, Crawford isn't your typical second-year player.

Crawford, 26, has dealt with the unremitting disappointment of being cut training camp after training camp as the Hawks continued to bring in new goalies. He handled everything well, toiling away in the minors before winning the No. 1 job last season and earning a three-year deal. So there is evidence to believe he can turn things around, despite his 3.00 goals-against average and .896 save percentage.