Corey Crawford has missed ten straight games with an undisclosed upper-body injury. When he was first put on the injured reserve, the Chicago Blackhawks did not give a timetable for his return. The team also did not comment on the injury immediately either. Now, 20 days later, the star goalie has not even started skating again. The team still has not released an official return date, and it has fans worried.
Report: Chicago Blackhawks Might Have Lost Corey Crawford for the Year
Elliotte Friedman speculated on Crawford missing the rest of the season in his weekly 31 thoughts column. Further information comes from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times, who states that multiple sources have commented on Crawford’s injury. While head coach Joel Quenneville says Crawford will return to the lineup soon, the sources say otherwise. Lazerus reported on Tuesday night that Crawford is facing vertigo symptoms for the second time in his career. The first time saw Crawford missing nearly four weeks during the 2015-16 season. This injury could be worse. Sources say Crawford’s season could be over. The Hawks staff still won’t give any information confirming or denying this claim. From Lazerus:
“Three sources told the Sun-Times that Crawford is dealing with vertigo-like symptoms, for the second time in his career. And there is a growing concern within the organization that Crawford could miss the rest of the season, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported on Tuesday.”
There hasn’t been any sign of Crawford getting hurt during a game either. On December 21st, he was involved in a collision that didn’t seem to phase him. He finished the game and started again on December 23rd. The pre-Christmas game wasn’t much of a gift for the goalie, though. He let in three goals in 14 minutes and was replaced. Crawford hasn’t even attended a team practice since then.
Crawford was also placed on injured reserve on December 1st. Again, it was with an undisclosed injury. He returned to the lineup a week later, though, and had a good month of December. Quennville was reportedly worried about Crawford after he was put on the IR for the second time.
Crawford’s Season Prior to Injury
Crawford was having another shining season, in what’s been a rough year for the Hawks. Since the start of the year, he has the second highest save percentage of any goalies with more than 20 games played. With those same specifics, Crawford has the third lowest goals-against average. While the Hawks have gone 5-4-1 without Crawford, they obviously miss him. Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said, “We’re always concerned about our teammates first and our team second,” referring to Crawford. Quenneville backed that statement by reiterating how big of a hole Crawford leaves. “We know how valuable his position is.”
The team did mention forward Artem Anisimov, though. Anisimov was placed on injured reserve two days after Crawford. However, the team says he’s progressing nicely and could return soon. Similar to Crawford’s injury, Anisimov suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury and the team remained hush about it until now.
CHICAGO, IL – DECEMBER 01: Corey Crawford #50 of the Chicago Blackhawks makes a save with his leg against the New Jersey Devils at the United Center on December 1, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)