There has been nothing but uncertainty surrounding Corey Crawford, as he had been deemed “unfit to play” since the Blackhawks began their summer training camp. The NHL is not allowed to release whether or not a player tested positive for COVID-19 per an agreement with the NHLPA, however, it seems that was the most likely case for Crawford.
But on Saturday, Crawford returned to the ice at Fifth-Third Arena as the Hawks get ready to head to Edmonton for the Qualifying Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With Edmonton’s dynamic power play and the elite scoring ability of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the Blackhawks likely did not stand a chance of competing with Edmonton without Crawford in net.
A few days ago, Jonathan Toews stated, “Crawford has shown a knack for jumping right in with little preparation without missing a beat.”
So time will tell if Crawford will be ready to go when the Blackhawks and Oilers begin their best-of-five series one week from today.
If Crawford cannot go for the Blackhawks, either Collin Delia or newly acquired Malcolm Subban will be in net for Chicago. Neither of those options will provide Jeremy Colliton with the confidence that Crawford can instill. Crawford, a two-time Stanley Cup champion, has shown time after time that he is an elite goaltender. His return to the ice should motivate the team immensely.
UPDATE: When meeting with the media after today’s practice, Corey Crawford confirmed that he tested positive for COVID-19.