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updated: 1/29/2018 7:23 PM

Crawford waiting game continues for Chicago Blackhawks

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  • Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Anton Forsberg (31) deflects a Detroit Red Wings right wing Luke Glendening (41) shot in the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, in Detroit.

    Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Anton Forsberg (31) deflects a Detroit Red Wings right wing Luke Glendening (41) shot in the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, in Detroit.

 
 

In the Chicago Blackhawks' case, no news has definitely been bad news over the last month.

The Hawks had hoped to get goalie Corey Crawford on the ice during the all-star break, but that didn't happen and there is still no timetable for his return.

Coach Joel Quenneville said Crawford did some "light training" over the weekend and the hope is he might be able to skate later in the week.

Crawford has been on injured reserve since Dec. 27 with an upper-body injury and has not played since allowing 3 first-period goals to New Jersey in a 4-1 loss on Dec. 23.

Anton Forsberg and Jeff Glass have done a solid job keeping the Hawks in the playoff picture by going 6-6-2 in Crawford's absence.

Forsberg will start in Nashville on Tuesday as the Hawks begin a three-game road trip that continues in Vancouver and Calgary.

"We have a couple of goalies who are giving us a chance, game in and game out," Quenneville said. "We lost some key points at home in a tough stretch there. But the last three games at least we're playing the right way and giving ourselves a chance."

Forsberg figured it would take Crawford about 1-2 weeks to get into game shape once he gets back on the ice.

"It doesn't matter if you run or if you do a workout," Forsberg said. "Whatever you do, it's not the same thing (as) going out on the ice."

The big question becomes what kind of Crawford are we going to see when -- and if -- he returns? Will it be the Crawford who posted a .929 save percentage and 2.27 goals-against average in 28 games? Or will there be considerable rust to shake off?

"You'd never put him (in a spot) where he could be compromised as far as getting hurt," Quenneville said. "He'd be more than ready to get back into the lineup. Where he's at -- getting some pucks and getting the feel of it -- that's something we can't really talk about right now."

Quenneville's squad comes out of the break 4 points from the second wild-card spot, which is occupied by Colorado. The Hawks have to climb over three other teams to catch the Avs, though, so the mountain is larger than it appears.

Quenneville is hoping his team uses the momentum of a 5-1 victory over Detroit on Thursday to start a hot stretch that begins against the Predators. Easier said than done, of course, considering Nashville is 29-11-7 overall and 16-4-3 at home.

"It's a great test right out of the gate," Quenneville said. "Big crowd, noisy.

"We've got to go in there and play our game and be willing to do whatever it takes because we need points in the worst way, and they're tough to get in that building. So we'll have to do a lot of things right and we're excited about that challenge."

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