Friday, the Blackhawks recalled goalie Henrik Karlsson from the Rockford Ice Hogs. Shortly after that announcement, the Blackhawks took the ice for their morning skate, and Corey Crawford was not part of it. Immediately, Twitter and Facebook exploded with intrigue. Was he hurt? Was he traded? Was he hit by a Russian meteor?
Well, it turns out he was hurt.
After practice, Head Coach Joel Quenneville told the assembled media that Crawford has suffered an "upper body injury" and is day-to-day. Ray Emery will get the start in goal tonight.
Whenever "upper body injury" appears on the injury report, the natural reaction is to think "concussion." Neither the Hawks nor any of my sources have confirmed a concussion, but connecting some of the dots Quenneville drew today could lead you to that conclusion. When asked if it was Crawford's collision with Ducks' forward Bobby Ryan in Tuesday's game that caused the injury, Quenneville responded, "I don't know if it's that or practice. I don't know if it's a defining blow." When asked if Crawford would be in goal Sunday vs the Kings, he responded, "We'll see." He also said that Crawford "didn't feel great" after Thursday's practice.
Whatever the injury, this is a tough blow not only for the Blackhawks, but for Crawford. He's been playing the best hockey of his NHL career, and his team is rolling. Streakiness, historically, has been an issue for Crawford. An long term injury is the perfect way to derail the hot streak he's currently riding.