The last game Corey Crawford played was on March 14: a rough 5-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. Rough because of the score, but also rough because it cost the Hawks their starting goaltender, leaving him on the sidelines for nearly a month now with what is reportedly a head injury.
Three days ago, though, Crawford resumed skating. From there, we've now reached the point Joel Quenneville seems extremely confident Crawford will be back in time for the playoffs.
Coach Q said Corey Crawford is "absolutely" his starter for Game 1 of the playoffs. #Blackhawks— Eric Lear (@BHTVeric) April 5, 2016
There's no mincing words there - unless you turn to the goaltender himself.
#Blackhawks - Will Crawford start Game 1?— Brian Hedger (@BrianHedger) April 5, 2016
CC: "I'd love to, but then again there's no rush. It's literally day by day."
The Blackhawks' regular season concludes this Saturday, April 9. That appears to be the current target date for Crawford's return, and one Crawford is really hoping to meet.
If he does, though? And is good to start the playoffs? That could be another story - but the coach's confidence is at least a good sign.
The playoffs are set to begin Wednesday, April 13.