Thursday is shaping up to be a remarkable day for the Chicago Blackhawks, and it has very little to do with their opponent on the ice.
All week long, it has looked like goaltender Corey Crawford will make his season debut for the Blackhawks when they take on the Arizona Coyotes, and he took another step toward that reality on Wednesday when he practiced with the team at MB Ice Arena.
Crawford, who hasn’t played since Dec. 2017 after suffering a concussion, is expected to start Thursday’s game, and he’ll be looking to give a struggling defense a lift as they try to beat a lowly Coyotes squad.
With the happy news surrounding Crawford, there is also remarkable news on the other side of the spectrum, as all signs point to winger Brandon Saad being a healthy scratch for the game. Saad, who is making $6 million per season, has appeared in five games this season and has two assists, but he has been demoted to the fourth line, and head coach Joel Quenneville has repeatedly said in postgame media availabilities that the team needs more from the forward.
It appears that Luke Johnson will draw back into the lineup for the game, which is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night.