December 5, 2018; Anaheim, CA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford (50) defends the goal against the Anaheim Ducks during the second period at Honda Center. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford left Sunday’s game against the San Jose Sharks late in the first period and was later diagnosed with a concussion after hitting his helmet on the goal post during an ugly collision with multiple players.
Crawford made an initial save on Logan Couture’s mini-breakaway, but Evander Kane drove the net and knocked Blackhawks defenseman Dylan Strome into Crawford, who was down in his butterfly. Crawford was bowled over, and the back of his helmet hit the post, with the net giving way as Strome fell on top of him. Kane was given a minor penalty for goaltender interference.
After remaining down on the ice for a minute or two, Crawford skated off under his own power and walked with trainers to the locker room. He was replaced by Cam Ward and quickly ruled out by the team. The Blackhawks signed Ward in free agency as insurance for Crawford. The longtime starter for Carolina is on a one-year deal worth $3 million.
Crawford, who turns 34 on New Year’s Eve, missed most of last season and the first five games of this season while recovering from a concussion sustained on Dec. 23, 2017. He entered Sunday’s game with a 6-14-2 record, a 3.23 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage, and had allowed two goals on eight shots before departing.
The 12th-year goalie has been a part of three Stanley Cup champion teams in Chicago, and he topped 30 wins in six of seven seasons from 2010-11 to 2016-17. He has never finished a season with a record below .500.
—Field Level Media