When the Chicago Blackhawks arrived in Columbus on Monday afternoon, a recent absentee joined them. Goalie Kevin Lankinen is back from COVID Protocol, which caused him to miss five games.
Lankinen entered the protocol on Dec. 31, 2021, a day before the Blackhawks played their first game in two weeks. In his absence, Collin Delia, Arvid Soderblom, and Marc-Andre Fleury all saw time in net.
Delia lasted just one period on New Year’s Day before Soderblom took over in a 6-1 blowout loss vs. Nashville. Soderblom started the following night in a 5-1 loss to Calgary. Also recently back from COVID Protocol, Fleury got the nod in the Blackhawks’ past three games. He went 1-1-1, a stretch that included an overtime loss vs. Colorado, a regulation loss at Arizona, and a win in his return to Vegas.
Fleury will likely get the net again on Tuesday against the Blue Jackets. According to interim head coach Derek King, Kevin Lankinen will have to work his way back into game shape after the layoff.
His first opportunity to do was delayed as the Blackhawks canceled Monday’s practice after arriving late in Columbus. The Hawks spent an extra day in Vegas, so it will be interesting to see how they perform against the Blue Jackets on Tuesday.
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