Corey Crawford back at practice, Blackhawks coy about who's starting in goal vs. Jets

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 10/12/2011, 01:05pm

By Ben Meyer-Abbott

Corey Crawford returned to practice with the team after sitting out the last two days, but the Blackhawks No. 1 goalie might not be between the pipes Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets.

Joel Quenneville told reporters Wednesday after practice the team would announce who was in goal for the game at the United Center after morning skate Thursday.

Crawford had nursed a groin injury during the preseason, but he said the undisclosed lower-body injury that prompted him to sit out two practices this week wasn’t related and that he had sustained the knock in one of the Hawks’ back-to-back games against the Dallas Stars.

“This wasn’t the same thing [as the groin injury," Crawford said. "This was just a little maintenance. I feel good and we'll make a decision tomorrow on whether I play or not."

Crawford showed the same skill to start season that earned him the No. 1 spot from veteran Marty Turco with 40 saves on 44 shots during the first two games.

"That first game I felt really good. I was a little tired in the second one, maybe just getting used to the travel again for those two games in two nights and you fly back and play again," Crawford said. "I've just got to get used to that routine again of playing back to back with travel. But it wasn't too bad, I felt pretty good once I got into it."

Backup goalie Ray Emery missed practice Wednesday with the flu, according to Quenneville. The Hawks recalled goalie Alexander Salak, who practiced with the team.

"Organizationally it's nice having some depth in that area," Quenneville said. "It's bad timing [with Emery] getting sick, but it’s never a good time to get sick. That’s just part of our business, it happens.”