Crawford back with Blackhawks for trip to Anaheim
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As the Chicago Blackhawks open a three-game California trip that could go a long way toward enhancing their playoff chances, they will do so mainstay Corey Crawford back on the active roster.
The veteran goaltender was reinstated from injured reserve on Monday and is expected to play on the upcoming trip which begins Wednesday with a game at Anaheim against the Ducks. Crawford has been out since Dec. 17 with a concussion.
While indications are that Crawford might have to wait until this upcoming weekend's pair of back-to-back games at Los Angeles and San Jose, just getting the trusted goaltender back again is making the team feel whole.
Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton said there is a sense of calm that Crawford brings the team, a confidence factor that comes from the fact that the goalie has experienced just about everything imaginable in his 12-year career.
"Nothing is going to bother him, and that filters down to the rest of the team," Colliton said, according to nhl.com. "We've been talking a lot about don't get too high, don't get too low, just keep playing, never give up, and he's got that."
After winning five of the first six games after Crawford was injured, the Blackhawks went through a January stretch in which they dropped seven of eight. Then came a seven-game win streak with Collin Delia and Cam Ward in goal. The run revived hopes of a playoff appearance.
The Blackhawks have lost their past two games, though, and are six points out of the Western Conference's final wild-card spot.
If there is any disappointment over Crawford's return it is that Delia, a Southern California native, will not be on the team for the stretch of West Coast games. Delia was sent back to Rockford of the AHL when Crawford was activated.
The Ducks could use some reinforcements in goal as Ryan Miller (lower body), Chad Johnson (head) and John Gibson (head) all are day-to-day. Also day-to-day is center Ryan Getzlaf (upper body).
Ducks fans will get their first chance to show appreciation for right winger Jakob Silfverberg, who will be playing in his first home game since he agreed to a five-year extension last week.
Ten points out of the Western Conference's final wild-card playoff spot with 19 games to play, the Ducks have long odds to continue a postseason streak that started in 2012-13.
So while the decided that Silfverberg was somebody to build around for the future, Anaheim did move defenseman Brandon Montour before this week's trade deadline. The Ducks also traded Brian Gibbons, Luke Schenn, Andrew Cogliano and Pontus Aberg in recent moves.
Anaheim has lost its past three games, all on the road. The Ducks were outscored 8-2 in those contests, but they have played somewhat better under interim coach Bob Murray, going 3-4.
"The last little stretch we've been playing well," Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm said, according to the Orange County Register. "We should take that with us and keep working on it. The whole season itself, the way things have been going, it's tough when we work hard and we're not able to get rewarded."
Blackhawks defenseman Carl Dahlstrom has missed the last two games because of the flu, and center David Kampf (foot) also is day-to-day.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 27, 2019