There is “growing concern” within the Chicago Blackhawks organization that Corey Crawford will miss the remainder of the 2017-18 season due to “vertigo-like symptoms,” reports the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus. The star goaltender has been out since Dec. 23 with an undisclosed upper-body injury.
This is the most detail we’ve gotten yet regarding what’s caused Crawford to be sidelined amid another stellar season. A spokesperson for the Blackhawks declined to comment to Lazerus on the details of the goaltender’s status, citing team policy, but it’s an indication that his return may not come as soon as the team has suggested.
Crawford has been out “indefinitely” since a late December game against the Devils where he gave up four goals on seven shots. The goaltender’s status has been a mystery since then, which led to concern over why one of the Hawks’ most important players had gone off the radar for four weeks. Jonathan Toews’ response to a question about the goalie didn’t exactly make it seem like he’d be back soon.
This is not the first time that Crawford has dealt with vertigo-like symptoms. They first arose in March 2016, according to a previous report. He returned from that absence for the Blackhawks’ regular season finale, then played in all seven games in the first round against the Blues.
This season Crawford has been one of the Blackhawks’ most important players with a .929 save percentage in 28 games. His absence for the long haul would be a major blow to the team’s chances of making the playoffs, as solid as Anton Forsberg and Jeff Glass have been in his place.