Corey Crawford took part in training camp with the Chicago Blackhawks for the first time on Saturday and acknowledged he was away from the team after testing positive for COVID-19.
The team had designated the veteran goaltender as “unfit to play” but gave no details when he was not present for the beginning of camp July 13.
“I’ve had to quarantine at my place here in Chicago for the last few weeks, so that was the case for my absence at camp,” Crawford said. “Excited to be back, going to try to get into it as quick as possible and try and get that game shape back.”
Crawford continued: “I’m just excited to be back on the ice and seeing pucks again.”
His coach, Jeremy Colliton, agreed.
“Great to get him on the ice,” Colliton said after Saturday’s scrimmage. “It’s the first day back. The biggest thing is feeling the puck and getting comfortable and getting his legs back.”
He added he expects the 35-year-old Crawford to be ready for the best-of-five qualifying series against the Edmonton Oilers and their prolific tandem of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, which begins Aug. 1.
The Blackhawks (32-30-8) are scheduled to leave for the Western Conference hub city, Edmonton, on Sunday. The winner of their series with the Oilers (37-25-9) will advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
In 40 games this season, Crawford went 16-20-3 with a .917 save percentage and a 2.77 goals-against average.
If Crawford isn’t at full strength, Malcolm Subban likely would have the first shot at the No. 1 role. He was 9-7-3 with an .890 save percentage and a 3.18 GAA in 20 games this season with the Vegas Golden Knights. The Blackhawks acquired him on Feb. 24 as part of a deal that sent veteran goaltender Robin Lehner to the desert.
–Field Level Media