The Chicago Blackhawks not only missed the playoffs last year because of inconsistency up and down the lineup, but they also got horrible goaltending from their second and third goaltenders.
Last week, the team’s starting netminder Corey Crawford, said he was not exactly sure when he would join his teammates at practice. That was not the news Blackhawks’ fans wanted to hear when their favorite team is not only looking to get back to the postseason but also trying to save the jobs of head coach Joel Quenneville and general manager, Stan Bowman.
In an article Blackhawks’ scribe, Tracy Meyers did for NHL.com last week, Crawford revealed the following:
“Most of the [symptoms] are gone, but I’m not cleared yet,” the 33-year-old goaltender said Friday. “Right now, I’m feeling pretty good. I’ve gotten better and better over the last couple of months, and I was able to skate a few times over the last two weeks. I feel good on the ice as a goalie. But right now, I’m not ready to go yet.”
Yesterday, NBC Sports Chicago reported that while Crawford has made some progress, there is still no timetable for his return. Again, not the kind of news you want to hear if you are the Blackhawks or one of their passionate fans.
While it’s great that he is making progress, the fact that he is still not ready to go should be worrisome for both the Hawks and their fans. The last time he played was December 3rd.
If you’re counting at home, that’s nine months he’s been out and to come back not feeling 100 percent is not a good thing. Because he missed that much time, the team failed to make the postseason for the first time since the 2007-08 season.
The team and their fans better hope he comes back soon. Going into the year, both Quenneville and Bowman are on the hot seat. Yes, the duo won three cups since the 2009-10 season, but since then, there have been several early playoff exits and in Chi-town, that is not acceptable.
Hopefully, when Crawford does return, he will be on top of his game because if he’s not, this team could be in serious trouble again.
Photo: Chicago Tribune