As the 2018-19 season looms, Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford inches closer to a return. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville announced today that Crawford is medically cleared to play ahead of the start of the upcoming season.
The only thing standing between Crawford and him becoming the goalie for the Blackhawks to start the season is practice reps and “getting ready” to play according to Quenneville:
Joel Quenneville said Corey Crawford is medically cleared to play, now he just "has to get ready to play." #Blackhawks
— Eric Lear (@BHTVeric) October 1, 2018
Although Crawford has been cleared to play, it doesn’t mean Crawford will be starting any time soon. Crawford still needs time to get back in shape as he hasn’t played since December and hasn’t started practice until recently.
Today Crawford took the ice and faced some shots from other Blackhawks players. This is a big step forward and hopefully, it’s something Crawford can build off of.
For the foreseeable future it looks like Cam Ward will be the Blackhawks starter. Ward has been OK in preseason, we’ll see how he handles his first game with a different team soon enough.
The Blackhawks will start the season in Ottawa against the Senators this Thursday at 6:30 pm.