DENVER — The Blackhawks are optimistic about goalie Corey Crawford returning from a concussion, but there’s no inkling of when that will be.
He has been around the team at times but hasn’t taken the ice for practices or morning skates. Coach Jeremy Colliton has been quiet regarding Crawford’s situation other than saying he anticipates he’ll play once he’s medically cleared. He’s eligible to come off injured reserve at any time.
Colliton and Crawford have texted occasionally, but Colliton’s history with concussions — they ended his career at 28 — taught him that it’s best to give his player space.
“There’s no time frame,” Colliton said. “You get better when you get better. And putting pressure, or me asking him every day how he’s feeling, that serves no purpose.
“When he feels better, I’ll know. Then we’ll proceed accordingly.”
Crawford went on IR after a collision at the net Dec. 16 against the Sharks. The crash knocked him back, and he hit the back of his head on a goalpost.
A year earlier, a concussion shut him down for the rest of the season, and he missed 47 games.
DeBrincat an All-Star?
Alex DeBrincat thinks he’s still sitting at the kids’ table.
Despite putting up numbers pacing well ahead of his strong rookie season, he laughed heartily at the mention of possibly playing his way into All-Star candidacy.
“I don’t think that’s gonna happen,” he said, reacting as if he’d been asked about NASA selecting him for its next mission. “You try to produce and do the best you can for your team, but there’s a lot of good guys in this league. It would be awesome, but I don’t see myself in contention.”
His numbers disagree. They make a decent case, actually, that he deserves consideration for one of the six forward spots on the Central Division’s team for next month’s game.
Going into the game Saturday, DeBrincat had 17 goals and 15 assists, putting him 12th in scoring among Central players. Hawks teammates Patrick Kane (47 points) and Jonathan Toews (34) were ahead of him. DeBrincat was second on the team in goals, sixth in the Central.
That should give him a shot, but DeBrincat waved off the idea again. He hasn’t gone as far as booking a vacation for that week yet, but he figures to be spending the All-Star break with his family.
“It would be a great honor, but you look at some guys, and I don’t think I’m there yet,” he said. “Hopefully at some time in my career. I just think there’s a lot of good guys in this league and a lot of guys who are deserving. I would think there are plenty of guys on the ballot before me.”
The four captains, determined by fan ballots, were revealed Thursday. Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon won the vote for the Central. The rest of the rosters — each division gets six forwards, three defensemen and two goalies — will be selected by the league office and announced this week.
Regardless of whether DeBrincat’s name makes it on a dry-erase board when the NHL sorts through those picks, he’s rolling toward a big season. With six goals and four assists in the previous 10 games, he was on pace for 66 points. He scored the Hawks’ first goal Saturday against the Avalanche.