Another injury has struck the Chicago Blackhawks, this time affecting their backup goaltender
After playing masterfully against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, backup goaltender Scott Darling was ruled out of tonight’s matchup against the New York Islanders with a upper-body injury.
Darling had won his last four starts in a row after being pressed into service for the sick Corey Crawford. Darling’s injury is not expected to be long term. He might miss tonight’s game and be ready to play Saturday, according to some speculation.
Crawford will return to the net for the first time since Feb. 23. His backup will be Jeff Glass, who recalled to replace Darling on the roster tonight.
Glass was signed by the Blackhawks to an amateur PTO contract on January 31. He played well enough to earn himself a pro contract. It is a two-year deal that runs through the 2017-18 season and has a cap hit of $612,500.
A closer look at Jeff Glass
Glass’ stats with Rockford IceHogs this season are a 5-4-1 record with a 2.38 goals-against average, .917 save percentage and two shutouts. He also leapfrogged Mac Carruth and now splits time with Lars Johansson in the crease.
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Glass began his career as a third-round pick of the Ottawa Senators in 2004. Since being drafted by Ottawa, he has bounced from league to league similar to Darling.
Glass has played in the AHL, ECHL and KHL but has yet to make an NHL appearance despite being drafted. Let’s hope Glass is not forced into action tonight.
Darling appears to be in line for a big payday from another team, and the Blackhawks need to be looking at future backups to Crawford. If Glass continues to play well in the organization, he could be in the running for the NHL backup spot next season.
He could be the next Darling-type goalie where the Blackhawks find a goalie from obscurity and give him an NHL chance. Worst case scenario, Glass is the goalie the Blackhawks make available to meet the NHL’s expansion draft requirement.
Artem Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz also out
In addition to Darling being ruled out tonight, Artem Anisimov and Nick Schmaltz will be out due to injury and illness, respectively. The Blackhawks will be really thin a center tonight, and some speculated Vincent Hinostroza could be recalled.
Artemi Panarin will be for tonight’s game, though, despite suffering an injury against Pittsburgh. Defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya, however, remain sidelined until next week.