Corey Crawford still missing from Blackhawks practice

CHICAGO - Another day, another Blackhawks practice without Corey Crawford.

Crawford has been missing in action since two days before Christmas, when he was pulled in the second period of a lopsided loss to the New Jersey Devils.

Reports surfaced this week, the 33-year-old netminder may be suffering from vertigo.

Blackhawks senior adviser Scotty Bowman told Canadian radio station CJCL-AM 590 he believes Crawford isn't dealing with vertigo, but rather post-concussion syndrome.

Head coach Joel Quenneville wouldn't confirm either ailment.

"We're not talking about the injury. He's got an upper body injury. I respect the question. We don't discuss injuries, as well. But, we expect him to be fine."

When asked if it happened in one of the previous games he played in, Quenneville simply stated:

"I don't think it was a defining blow."

So, the Hawks continue life without Crawford Saturday night against the Islanders with Anton Forsberg in goal.

But, they've got bigger problems - like how to get back into playoff position.

Heading into Friday night, they were three points behind Colorado for the final playoff spot, needing to climb over three other teams.

With 37 games left, there's a bit of urgency.

"Yeah. Absolutely. We're out of the playoffs right now," remarked Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane. "Obviously, we've got to be desperate. We almost have to play like it's playoff hockey right now."

"At this pace, we're probably not a playoff team. That's unacceptable for every guy in this room," noted Blackhawks forward Tommy Wingels. "Every player in this organization wants to play in the playoffs, is expected to play in the playoffs and as players we know that."

"I don't think anyone feels secure," explained Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. "Whether you're sitting where we are or at the top of the division or conference, nothing is safe. Everyone has to play well day in and day out. It's the same for us."