Corey Crawford ‘back to normal’ after back-to-back Blackhawks practices

CHICAGO — Sounds like it's not a matter of if, but rather when, Corey Crawford will play again.

Crawford practiced with the rest of the Blackhawks Saturday for this first time since his concussion in mid-December.

He was only on the ice for 20-25 minutes for that one, but was a full go Monday, taking shots and participating in drills the whole way through.

"I feel great. Back to normal. It's nice to get on the ice and practice with everyone. I'm feeling good. That's the most important thing right now."

Head coach Jeremy Colliton said there were no restrictions on Crawford's practice regiment, aside from the obvious.

"Don't run him over."

Crawford was concussed last year and never returned to the lineup. The 34-year-old Stanley Cup champ seems to be in a better place this time around.

"I had a few similar symptoms but [my return] was obviously a little bit quicker. It was nice to not wait that long.

"I think you just have to do the right things. That's what the training staff and doctors were doing. You've just got to be smart. Not try and push it too fast. I'm just happy to be back."

Some fans thought they had seen the last of Crawford after he was sandwiched into the goal post against the San Jose Sharks on December 16th. Crawford insists he never considered retiring.

"No, not at all. I was going to come back as soon as I felt 100%. I'm not worried about that. It is what it is. Some guys have to deal with other injuries. It's just what I have to deal with. I feel good. I feel ready. I'm just going to work our way back to getting back in the lineup."

Crawford will not travel with the team to Boston, where the Hawks will try to extend their season-long winning streak to eight games.

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