Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford practiced Saturday after he missed the start of training camp following a positive COVID-19 test.
The 35-year-old Crawford said he was in quarantine at his place in Chicago.
“The first few days that I started feeling symptoms, that was the hardest,” Crawford said on a video conference call. “The last couple weeks, maybe a little bit more, was a little bit easier. But I still couldn’t really do much in case there was something wrong with my lungs or my heart, so we had to get that checked out first before I really started pushing in the gym or come on the ice.”
The return of Crawford is a big development for Chicago as it prepares for its qualifying series against Edmonton and its high-scoring duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. But he has little time to get up to speed before Game 1 of their best-of-five series on Aug. 1.
“Excited to be back,” Crawford said. “Going to try and get into it as quick as possible and try and get that game shape back.”
Crawford missed parts of the previous two seasons because of concussions. 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. He is 48-37 with a .919 save percentage and 2.28 goals-against average in 87 career playoff appearances.
“We don’t have a lot of time, so we do have some urgency,” coach Jeremy Colliton said. “But he knows that and he’s been through it before as far as trying to come back off an injury and get right in. So we’ll keep going on that process.”