Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford remains out “indefinitely” according to coach Joel Quenneville, who revealed that news after practice Friday. That means Jeff Glass will get the nod for the fourth straight game as his awesome story continues in Chicago.
Crawford’s absence has been a big blow to the Blackhawks, but it’s been cool to see the team rally around Glass in his first stint in the NHL. On Friday, he’ll get to make his first start ever in front of a friendly crowd at the United Center, and he discussed that with reporters after practice.
"It's going to be special."— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) January 5, 2018
—Netminder Jeff Glass gets his first start in Chicago tonight. #CHIvsVGK pic.twitter.com/yDesr3ElS5
“You always dream about these things, and I always thought I’d be here, but it’s going to be special tonight,” Glass said when asked about the game. “I’m really excited about it. It should be a lot of fun out there.”
Glass has won two of his three starts with the Blackhawks, including an exciting debut in which he stood up to a barrage of shots from the Oilers. Star winger Patrick Kane had some very kind words for the netminder, via the Chicago Sun-Times’ Steve Greenberg.
“He’s the nicest guy in the world,” Kane said. “It couldn’t have happened to a better guy. It shows if you stick with it, you hang in there, maybe you get your chance. And he’s really taken advantage of it. He’s been playing great for us — a big reason why we’ve gotten points in the last three games. It’s fun to have him back there.”
A deeper dive by The Athletic’s Catherine Silverman indicates Glass may not be able to keep this up, which explains why he didn’t make his NHL debut until now, but his story has been fun to follow.
The move seems to have given the team a bit of a jolt in the locker room amid a tough stretch without Crawford, too. The win over the Rangers on Wednesday was one of their best performances of the season. Now the team gets to play eight of its next nine games at home, with the lone road game coming against the lowly Senators.
So this represents a big opportunity for both the Blackhawks and Glass, who seems to have a grasp on the job until Crawford comes back. It’s a bit unexpected for several reasons, including the fact that he needed to leapfrog Anton Forsberg in the pecking order, but at least he seems to be enjoying it.