I am not quite sure why Colliton is beating around the bush here. If I were him, I would want Crawford back between the pipes sooner rather than later. While 24-year-old- masked man Collin Delia has played decent enough (as of February 21, he is 6-3-3 with a 3.43 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage) for this team, no one is quite sure how he will play when the pressure gets turned up. Right now, there really is not much pressure on this club because of how badly their season began. Crawford means a lot to this team and can provide so much to this club when he is healthy and gets the support he needs on the ice. For starters, he’s able to make timely saves and not only that, just does a great job of stopping the puck in general. Secondly, when he’s right physically, he’s consistent. You know that out of Crawford, you are going to get someone who battles every night, posts good numbers each season (when fully healthy), and be a factor in many games. Lastly, it is clear that with Crawford between the pipes, the Blackhawks are a much different team. They play with more confidence, they know they have a goalie behind them who will keep them in the game, and they also know that with their main man between the pipes, they have an opportunity to win every night. If Colliton can get Crawford back in net sooner rather than later, there is no reason to believe that he would not play well and that he would not be a huge factor should this team get into the playoffs.
“Just the fact that he was able to practice with us was another chance to get him out there and get him a little extra work, too,” Colliton said. “Good to see him. … When he’s cleared, then we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. Until I get the go-ahead, I’m just worrying about the guys that are healthy.”
*Photo: NBC Sports Chicago