Corey Crawford is ready to get back between the pipes for the Blackhawks in game action.
The star goaltender joined the team on the ice for the fourth time in a week Friday and said he could play, but the decision as to when he returns isn’t entirely his.
“It’s really hard to say,” Crawford said. “It’s not up to me. I’m healthy to play right now. Really it’s whether they think I’m ready to get in the net.”
Corey Crawford:— John Dietz (@johndietzdh) February 15, 2019
Q: Could play tomorrow?
A: "I mean I think it'll take maybe a few more practices to really get timing back. But right now I feel pretty good."
Crawford has been sidelined since Dec. 16 with his second concussion in less than a year. Prior to his head injury, he was 6-14-2 with a 3.28 goals-against average and .902 save percentage in 23 games. He missed the first five games of the season as he was working his way back from his first concussion.
With Crawford out, the Blackhawks have turned to Cam Ward and Collin Delia in net. The duo of Delia and Ward have helped the Blackhawks climb within two points of the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton didn’t offer a timeline for Crawford’s return or disclose what the team’s plans are for Delia and Ward when Crawford does come back.
Corey Crawford said he's ready to play. When will you let him?— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) February 15, 2019
Jeremy Colliton:“We’ll discuss it in the staff and let you know.”
But we want you to discuss it here with us now.
“I know you do. We all want things.”
The Blackhawks have one open roster spot after placing center David Kampf (right foot) on injured reserve retroactive to Feb. 5. They could carry all three goalies until they believe Crawford can handle the starting duties again, and either ask Ward to waive his no-movement clause so he can be traded or send Delia back down to the AHL.