ST. PAUL, Minn. — For Corey Crawford and the Blackhawks, no news is bad news.
The Vezina Trophy candidate who hasn’t played since March 14, still hasn’t skated, and appears unlikely to travel to Winnipeg. A source said that Crawford is dealing with a head injury, and possibly something similar to the vertigo symptoms that Bryan Bickell was dealing with last spring. He’s still officially “day to day” with an unspecified upper-body injury.
Joel Quenneville said on Friday that he was hopeful that Crawford could return in time for the playoffs, but that he couldn’t say it with certainty.
In the meantime, Scott Darling will make his seventh straight start Tuesday in Minnesota. Aside from a four-goal first period against the Dallas Stars on March 22, after which he was relieved by Michael Leighton, Darling has been solid. In his previous two games, wins at Calgary and Vancouver, he allowed just three total goals on 60 shots.
“He’s been huge for us,” Andrew Shaw said. “He’s stepped in and made some big saves.”
Rozsival for Masterton
Michal Rozsival could have gone out as a champion. But he wanted to go out in uniform.
“I really felt like I didn’t want to leave the game with a broken ankle,” he said. “With that memory of being carried off the ice and carried out of the league.”
Rozsival became a two-time Stanley Cup champion last spring, but while his teammates celebrated in skates, Rozsival celebrated on a scooter with a Blackhawks logo sticker on the front. In Game 4 of the second round of the playoffs, the veteran defenseman caught a rut in the ice while backpedaling, and his ankle turned 180 degrees around in a gruesome injury. Rozsival’s season was over. And at age 36, his career appeared to be, too.
But Rozsival had other ideas. And for dedicating himself to a grueling rehab that wasn’t complete until mid-November and returning to being a fixture in the Hawks lineup, the now-37-year-old Rozsival is the nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy by the Chicago chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. The award is given each year to the player who best exemplifies sportsmanship, perseverance, and dedication to the sport.
Rozsival didn’t know if he would be able to make it all the way back. But he knew he’d try.
“My mind was set,” he said. “Even though there was a doubt, in my mind, I wanted to do it right and give it the best shot I could to do the best I could in my rehab and get back on the ice and play again.”
Rozsival has a goal and 10 assists in 45 games this season.
“After an injury like that, you never really feel 100 percent, or feel the same,” he said. “But I feel good, I feel strong, I feel comfortable and confident. I feel fine. I feel like I can still go and play and perform and help the team.”
Artem Anisimov will miss his second straight game with a lower-body injury Tuesday night in Minnesota. Joel Quenneville was hopeful that he could play Friday in Winnipeg.