The Blackhawks put goalie Corey Crawford on injured reserve with a concussion Monday, and he’ll miss at least the next four games. He’ll be eligible to return Dec. 27 against the Wild.
The Hawks likely will proceed with veteran Cam Ward as the starter, and they called up Collin Delia from their Rockford affiliate in the American Hockey League.
Crawford went down in the first period of the Hawks’ 7-3 home loss Sunday to the Sharks when a collision at the net caused him to hit the back of his head on a goalpost.
That’s especially alarming for Crawford, who missed 47 games with a concussion last season. In the short term, it’s troubling for the team, too.
The Hawks are allowing 34.3 shots on goal per game, the fourth-most in the NHL, and need a top-level goalie to give them any chance of winning consistently. Ward is a good backup, but he’s not at Crawford’s level.
The Hawks were leading 3-2 when Crawford left the game, but the Sharks scored five times on 35 shots against Ward.
Ward has played in 14 games this season and has an .883 save percentage to go with a 4.17 goals-against average. Crawford is at .902 and 3.28.
Delia, 24, is an intriguing prospect who had a brief stint with the Hawks late last season. He has a .933 save percentage this season at Rockford and allowed seven goals on 63 shots in two NHL starts last year.
The Hawks bypassed fellow Rockford goalie Anton Forsberg, who played in 35 games for them last season, in favor of Delia. Forsberg, though, remains an option going forward.