Joel Quenneville, the Blackhawks coach, was asked over a week ago if he expected Corey Crawford, goalie, who has been mysteriously out since Christmas with an “upper-body injury,” to return to the line up this season.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the coach answered ‘‘Yes,’’ and did not hesitate.
But the end result is not quite certain. According to sources at the Sun-Times, Crawford is actually battling vertigo-like symptoms for the second time around in his career. The news outlet, as well as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, reports that concern is growing in the organization that Crawford might miss the rest of the season.
The Blackhawks have been very mum about the whole situation since putting Crawford on injured reserve as they came out of Christmas break, which then sparked assumptions and ideas about the goalie, according to the news outlet. Stan Bowman, General Manager said last week to the Sun-Times:
‘‘There’s not much to say until he’s back on the ice. It’s sort of status quo right now.’’
Last Tuesday according to the news outlet, a Hawks spokesman declined to comment – noting the team’s protocol refraining from discussing injury details. When initially on injured reserve, Crawford was said to be out “indefinitely.” and when asked if there was a specific injury that put him out, Quenneville said: ‘Not sure, exactly. I don’t want to get into details of all that.’
According to the Sun-Times, Crawford was apart of a collision during a game in Dallas on Dec. 21 but appeared to be fine and finished the game. But two days later in New Jersey, he looked terrible and proceeded to allow three goals in less than 14 minutes. He was then pulled in favor of backup Anton Forsberg, according to the Sun-Times.
‘‘I think we’re always concerned about our teammates first and then our team second,’’ said captain Jonathan Toews said when he was asked about Crawford to the Sun-Times. ‘‘I think Crow knows he’s trying to get better. He’s one of those guys that we know we can rely upon as a person, as a teammate. He’ll do what he can to get himself better, so he can get back to playing and get back and help our team when he knows how to.’’
Near the end of the 2015-16 season, Crawford missed close to four weeks and according to the Sun-Times, dealing with symptoms of vertigo. He later returned in time for the Hawks’ first-round playoff series against the Blues, according to the news outlet.
But losing Crawford may be a swift death at any chance of going to the playoffs for the Blackhawks, according to the Sun-Times.
“Obviously, you’re missing him,’’ Quenneville said Sunday to the news outlet. ‘‘He’s been arguably our key player all year, and [with] the consistency he’s given us in the net, we know how valuable the position is and what it means to your team.