By: Alex Patt
Corey Crawford has been out since December 23rd, and his return has never been certain since. In this mess of a 2017-2018 season, he had been one of, if not the brightest spot on the team. Posting a 2.27 GAA an .929 save percentage in 28 games, Crawford was among the NHL’s top performing goalies. His injury, which is said to involve concussions and vertigo, has not allowed him to participate in much hockey activity other than some workouts.
Coach Joel Quenneville has been pounded with questions regarding his return. Just yesterday Madeline Kenney of the Sun Times reported that Q “wasn’t hopeful” that Crawford was going to play again this season. Kenney also made the point that coach Q has given very “we will see” answers throughout, but now there is serious doubt. This is not very surprising unfortunately.
Crawford has not even hit the ice yet and it is late February. There would be much more urgency in any other year, but not this one. Their playoff chances sit right now at 0.2% according to sportsclubstats.com, basically meaning they are not going to the playoffs. At this point it may be best just to shut him down and not risk further injury in a meaningless season. There is just a little over a month’s worth of games to go, making a run is nearly impossible. Clearly Crawford is the Blackhawks best asset, so best to protect him as best as possible.
This season has been real rough, and something Blackhawks fans are not used to these days. The absence of Crawford has proven that he was a key cog in the machine with the defense getting old and breaking down around him. Until next season, they’ll just have to live with Anton Forsberg and JF Berube.