Blackhawks place Corey Crawford on injured reserve

Well that’s not good. At all.

The Chicago Blackhawks placed star goaltender Corey Crawford on injured reserve Wednesday, the team announced. Jeff Glass has been recalled from the AHL to replace him on the roster.

This is the second time in the last month that Crawford has been placed on IR. In his place, Anton Forsberg will presumably step back into the starting role for the time being. The 25-year-old has a .909 save percentage and 3.12 goals allowed average in 11 appearances, including eight starts, with the Hawks this season.

There’s really no way to sugar coat this news as anything but terrible for Chicago. Crawford has been the team’s best player this season by any measure, and the Hawks can ill afford to lose any ground in a stacked Central Division where there’s so little margin for error. Forsberg has shown flashes of talent but nowhere near the consistency needed to be anything more than a stopgap.

This is not LTIR, so Crawford can return to the active roster after seven days, and he won’t be removed from the team’s salary cap books. However, the Hawks will be extremely busy soon with three games between Thursday and Sunday, so they could be burned by this injury if the team doesn’t compensate in some way.