The Chicago Blackhawks will be without Scott Darling for up to three weeks due to an upper-body injury, coach Joel Quenneville revealed to reporters following the team’s 2-1 win over the Islanders on Friday night.
Darling suffered the injury during practice on Friday, with Quenneville saying that it “could” have been the result of a shot. We don’t know much more about Darling’s situation, but the timetable obviously hints at the idea that it’s not some insignificant thing.
A three-week timetable means the Blackhawks will need to depend on Jeff Glass as their backup goalie for the time being. Glass was recently signed to an NHL contract by the Blackhawks after joining their AHL affiliate in January, and this could open up the 31-year-old to make his long awaited NHL debut.
Glass played in the AHL from 2006-09, then in the KHL from 2009-16, when he finally decided to return to North America.
Expect the Blackhawks to ride Corey Crawford pretty hard now that Darling is out. Crawford played quite well on Friday against the Islanders, and Quenneville left open the possibility that he starts again Saturday against the Predators. Yes, it would be his second game in two days, but the Blackhawks also have four straight days off after that (great schedule, NHL!), so Crawford would get a chance to rest after the big workload.
Darling is set to return in late March, which would have him back in the fold before the start of the postseason on April 12. That’s what we’re all worried about, although the Blackhawks will have to seriously consider giving Glass a start or two over the next few weeks in order to avoid burning Crawford out.