Corey Crawford took shots from teammates instead of just goaltending coach Jimmy Waite on Tuesday, another sign that he’s getting better.
And if he’s feeling right and can get one regular-season game in, he’ll do it.
Crawford skated with the team for the first time since sustaining his upper-body injury as the Blackhawks prepped for the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday. Crawford is still out of the lineup — Scott Darling will start and Michael Leighton will serve as the backup — but there’s a chance he could play the Blackhawks’ final regular-season game, against the Columbus Blue Jackets, on Saturday night.
[MORE HAWKS: Blackhawks want to build off 'first 39 and change']
“That would always be nice,” Crawford said. “I think the little details kind of go away a little bit the longer you miss, but who knows? Practices have been pretty hard, pretty intense, technical stuff with Jimmy I’ve been working on. It feels good. Today felt good with the shots. Just go day by day, but right now, after today I felt good out there seeing stuff."
Crawford didn’t want to talk about his injury, or how it was sustained. But it’s been a frustrating few weeks for Crawford, who has been day-to-day since mid-March.
“You never want to be sitting out. It’s always frustrating watching the games from the sidelines. But hopefully I can get back in there soon,” said Crawford. “I’m not going to talk about [the injury]. Right now I want to be positive and think about what’s been going good for me right now and getting better.”
Crawford is finally turning the corner on his injury. He’s been on the ice three of the last four days, Tuesday being the first time he joined the team since getting hurt. Coach Joel Quenneville sounded certain that Crawford would be starting the postseason. Crawford sounded a little less certain, but he’ll do everything possible to be ready when the playoffs begin.
“I’d love to. But then again, there’s no rush. It’s literally day-by-day,” Crawford said. “The training staff has done a good job. They always make sure our guys are ready when we get on the ice. It’s no different here. But today was a really good day.”
- Marian Hossa (lower body) is out vs. the Coyotes.
- Andrew Shaw (upper body) is also out. Quenneville said the Blackhawks could just sit Shaw for the rest of the regular season. “With him, the way he plays, we’ll make sure he’s more than ready if he’s going to be playing this week. So we’ll see how he progresses here the next few days. There is some progress but we’re going to make sure we’re more than 100 percent.”