Corey Crawford back Thursday vs. Islanders
BY SETH GRUEN Staff Reporter January 1, 2014 8:55PM
Updated: January 1, 2014 9:23PM
Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (groin) will return Thursday, when the Hawks visit the New York Islanders. Crawford has missed the last 10 games.
He was a full participant Wednesday in practice, which lasted about 45 minutes, and made every movement without discomfort.
“I’m not nervous yet,” Crawford said. “I’ve played in a lot of these games. I think it’s more excitement than nerves.
“It’s been pretty tough. It’s not fun to be injured, and it’s less fun to be sitting on the sidelines and watching the guys play. It’s fun to be out there playing hockey games, so when you can’t do it, it’s pretty boring.”
The Hawks also will carry Antti Raanta and Jason LaBarbera in case Crawford’s injury flares up.
Raanta, 24, who has played well in Crawford’s absence, will be the backup. The question that remains is whether Raanta is better served as a backup with the Hawks or as a starter in Rockford.
He earned his first career shutout Monday against the Kings.
“That’s something organizationally that we haven’t really nailed yet,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “But I’d be comfortable [with him backing up Crawford].”