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Corey Crawford's return to Blackhawks 'probably not that far away'

Paul Skrbina, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Hockey

The Hawks entered Monday in last place in the Central Division and five points and four teams out of the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. They likely will need more than a healthy Crawford to make a meaningful push for the playoffs.

Kane said the team's in-game approach doesn't change, though, regardless of its goalie.

"We try to play the same way no matter what," Kane said. "Glasser was unbelievable last game, maybe one of the sole reasons we had a point (in a 4-3 overtime loss against the Flames). He ... kept us in the game. But Crow's a great goaltender. When he's ready to come back, it'll be great to have him in there."

The Hawks are 7-7-3 since Crawford was put on the shelf and still fighting to continue a playoff streak that stretches back nine seasons.

They lost all three games Crawford missed in early December with an upper-body injury, part of a five-game skid. They won five in a row after he returned.

Since Crawford's latest injury, backups Forsberg (4-4-0, .913 save percentage, 2.63 goals-against average) and Glass (3-3-3, .908, 3.24) have helped keep the team's hopes afloat.

"Both goalies have been very good and both deserve the net," Quenneville said. "You measure the performance, probably identical."

Measuring Crawford's progress has proved more difficult.

 

The timetable for his possible return to games has, for the most part, remained a mystery as the Hawks have waited for him to return to the ice for workouts. Now that he's there, that timetable has become a bit clearer.

"With anyone's recovery, there's always a process that's in place," Quenneville said. "You always want to push it as much as you can. When it's time, it's time. You want to make sure you're 100 percent ready to go."

Which goalie will go to Rockford when Crawford is 100 percent also remains a mystery.

"We'll worry about that (later)," Quenneville said.

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