Blackhawks “Hopeful” that Corey Crawford Will Return for Stanley Cup Qualifiers

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford (50) in 2019. Photo by Chris Brown/CSM/Shutterstock (10181245y)

Chicago Blackhawks haven’t given up on the hope that they will have goalie Corey Crawford for the upcoming Stanley Cup Qualifiers. Crawford was deemed “unfit to play” at the start of training camp, but the team’s general manager Stan Bowman recently expressed optimism that things might change in the following days.

Blackhawks are currently scheduled to travel to Edmonton for NHL 2019/20 season resume on Sunday, and Bowman told reporters that he’s “hopeful” on Crawford taking part in the trip.

“We are hopeful on that,” Bowman told reporters on Tuesday. “I think we’ll be able to give you a better idea when we get closer to the weekend. But that’s something we’re still shooting for. I don’t have any definitive comments right now, but we’re still hoping that’s the case.”

However, Bowman explained that the team currently operates under the notion that their goalkeeping depth chart will comprise out of Malcolm Subban, Kevin Lankinen, Collin Delia, and Matt Tomkins.

“Right now Corey’s not here, so we’re focused on the other four goalies,” he added. “If and when Corey’s ready, then we’ll have that conversation. But I think it’s best to stick with where we are today, and not jump too far ahead.”

Corey Crawford spent his entire career with Chicago Blackhawks and was part of two Stanley Cup-winning rosters. He played 40 games this season, posting 16-20-3 with 2.77 goals-against average. Crawford’s .917 save percentage was fifth-best in NHL among goalies with 40+ games.

Chicago enters Stanley Cup Qualifiers as 12th seed and will face No.5 seed Edmonton Oilers in a best-of-five series. The winner will make the playoff cut.