Coach Q ‘absolutely’ expects Crawford to start first game of playoffs

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Corey Crawford practiced with his Blackhawks teammates today. It was the first time he’s done that since suffering an upper-body injury (reportedly a head injury) last month.

Crawford hasn’t played since March 14, but it’s possible he could return to the crease Saturday in Columbus, the last game of the regular season for the defending champs.

“I feel pretty good,” he told reporters, per Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times. “It was nice to see some shots today and be out there with the guys.”

When his coach, Joel Quenneville, was asked if he expected Crawford to start the first game of the playoffs, his response was, “Absolutely.”

That’s an upgrade in optimism from last week when Quenneville was merely “hopeful”.

Scott Darling will start tonight’s home game versus the Coyotes. The ‘Hawks host St. Louis Thursday, before Saturday’s season finale in Columbus.

For an update on Marian Hossa and Andrew Shaw, click here for CSN Chicago’s story. (Neither forward will play tonight.)