Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford met the media for the first time in months on Friday, and he says that he is not fully healthy yet in his recovery from an injury that ended his 2017-18 season.
“I’m not 100 percent yet, (but) I’m feeling pretty good right now,” Crawford said. “I’ve come a long way in the last couple of months. I worked really hard to do whatever I can to get better.”
Crawford appeared in 28 games last season, with a 16-9-2 record and a .929 save percentage, but a mysterious injury sidelined him for a big chunk of the season. Throughout the summer, Blackhawks management has kept mum on Crawford’s condition, and the goaltender wouldn’t confirm that he would be ready for training camp in September.
“That’s hard to say right now, but it’s very possible,” he said. “We’ve come a long way in the last couple of months, and there’s a really good chance that will happen.”
Crawford’s teammates showed support for him at the Blackhawks Convention Friday, with Jonathan Toews saying that he sympathized with the goaltender’s struggles to get back on the ice.
“To have a guy like Crow back in our locker room would be big,” Toews said. “You kind of feel alienated (when you’re hurt.) Sometimes it’s just nice to be around the guys. It’s nice to have him around here this weekend, and it’s good for your sanity to be with the boys.”
Head coach Joel Quenneville also told the Chicago Sun-Times that he expects Crawford to be his starting goaltender when the regular season begins in October.
Crawford declined to give specifics about his injury, but said that his focus is entirely on preparing for the upcoming season.
“What’s important right now is getting better and getting prepared for the start of the season,” he said. “We’re excited about this team right now.”