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Chicago Blackhawks: Corey Crawford Returns to Practice, Talks Return

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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 12: Corey Crawford #50 of the Chicago Blackhawks follows the action against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the United Center on December 12, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 12: Corey Crawford #50 of the Chicago Blackhawks follows the action against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the United Center on December 12, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford has returned to practice, though his timetable for a full-time return to the team is undetermined. Today he spoke to the media about his situation.

After making 43 saves in a huge win for the Chicago Blackhawks, Cam Ward took a maintenance day from practice this morning.

As a result, Corey Crawford participated in the entire Blackhawks practice in his place. Crawford, who has been skating recently, claims that he’s back to his old self after going down with an injury on Dec. 16th.

"“I feel great. Back to normal,” said Crawford following practice today."

According to NBC Sports Chicago‘s Charlie Roumeliotis, Crawford’s concussion this season shared some similarities to his season-ending concussion last season, however it was not nearly as bad.

With the Chicago Blackhawks on a seven game winning streak while their sights are aimed high on a playoff birth, Corey Crawford could play a huge part in making that goal a reality down the stretch this season.

Recently, this team’s offensive output has been unreal while their defensive efforts have been uncharacteristically not terrible. The Chicago Blackhawks are doing their best to pull everything together and land a wild card spot, however deficiencies defensively and on the penalty kill could trouble them down the road.

You know who has helped to mask weaknesses on a Chicago Blackhawks team before? A Mr. Corey Crawford.

It’s fun to fantasize and discuss the role Crawford could play for the ‘Hawks this year, but it’s important to note that he’s still a human being who needs to be concerned with his own health first.

In other words, everyone involved in the situation needs to be careful not to rush him back until he’s truly ready. That said, Crawford is confident in his health right now.

Here’s Crawford speaking to Roumeliotis on the whether he considered retiring after his second concussion in almost exactly one year:

"“No, not at all. I was gonna come back as soon as I felt 100%. I’m not worried about that.”"

So, when will Crawford be back in net?

Time will tell.

As a result, the Blackhawks find themselves in an interesting situation.

For the first time all season, they are on fire. Goaltending, which was thought of as a weakness after Crawford’s injury, is now playing an important role in this team’s success.

You would think that a healthy Crawford would only elevate the performances in net to another level, however the timing of that situation will be a tricky one as both Collin Delia and Cam Ward are putting together an incredible run.

The classic cliché of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” certainly seems fitting, but it doesn’t necessarily help Crawford’s case.

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Regardless, it’s good to see Crow back to practicing and sounding as positive as he does. The road ahead is still uncertain, but it’ll be an exciting ride to the finish nevertheless with no. 50 back to sharing the crease. Stay tuned for updates on when he may return to the ice in-game.

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