The Chicago Blackhawks, who had not reached the Stanley Cup playoffs since 2017, defeated the Edmonton Oilers in four games of a best-of-5 qualifying round, but couldn’t repeat the feat against the Vegas Golden Knights.
They were eliminated on Tuesday night and right after the game, reporters didn’t waste time asking the Blackhawks if their goalie Corey Crawford would be back with the team, and captain Jonathan Toews didn’t have a reassuring answer.
“Haven’t really had the chance to have those conversations with him,” Toews said Tuesday night after Chicago’s season ended, per TSN. “Yeah, I don’t know. The goaltending situation hasn’t been on my mind much.”
The answer would have been different most likely if it were asked to general manger Stan Bowman. Crawford’s contract up and we know his future was put in jeopardy more than once in the past year.
It all started at the start of camp when Crawford was deemed unfit to play, but he eventually return after he revealed that he had been diagnosed with COVID-19, forcing him to be sidelined for almost the entire duration of training camp. He missed parts of the previous two seasons because of concussions which might force the Hawks to make a significant change in between the pipes to set a real direction for the future. But he had been playing well when the league was shut down, recording a .930 save percentage in his last 17 games. Crawford was in net when Chicago won the Stanley Cup in 2013 and 2015.
As for another Stanley Cup in Chicago, star forward Patrick Kane said: “I don’t know. It’s not really something I’ve thought about or given any thought to.”
Let’s hope Hawks management gives it some thought and make the right call on what should take place in between the pipes in Chicago.