Corey Crawford will be between the pipes for the first time in nearly 10 months when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.
Crawford hasn’t been in the net since suffering a concussion on Dec. 23. He told reporters Wednesday that he planned to make the start against the Coyotes.
“I’m sure he’s looking forward to it, and we’re all excited about it as well,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Thursday. “It’ll be a fun situation for the guys, seeing him back in the net as well. So we’re looking for everyone to be excited about tonight’s game.
“He missed five games to start the year, so we’re fortunate that [Crawford’s return] is this early. We have a big stretch of games in front of us right now. We’ll see how he’s handling it in selecting his starts. But definitely, we’re all excited about this situation.”
Crawford was still dealing with some of the effects of the concussion during training camp. He has been practicing with Chicago since Sept. 29.
“It feels good to be back to myself,” Crawford said after Wednesday’s practice. “I’m feeling clear.”
Crawford, 33, played in just 28 games last season when he went 16-9-2 with a 2.27 goals-against average. He was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 27, four days after the concussion.
The Blackhawks are 3-0-2 through five games, but replacement Cam Ward has struggled with a 4.06 GAA and .879 save percentage. Chicago has gone to overtime in each of its first five games to set an NHL record.
—Field Level Media