Blackhawks Injury Update, Training Camp Festival Recap

Chicago Blackhawks' Corey Crawford warms up before an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jim Young)

by Scott King

Following the first day of training camp on Friday, goaltender Corey Crawford spoke freely about his injury for the first time since last seeing game competition on December 23.

“Last year was a concussion,” Crawford told reporters. “And I’m still getting over symptoms. Most of them are gone, but I’m not clear yet. So, until that happens, I won’t be back in.”

Crawford worked on the ice for about 30 minutes prior to the first training camp session but didn’t practice with the team. He took shots and worked on his movement in net at a slow, relaxed pace.

Other injuries were announced on Friday through an organizational effort to be more transparent medically. Connor Murphy will miss approximately eight weeks with a back injury and Brent Seabrook will miss about a week with an abdominal injury.

On Saturday, forward Jordan Schroeder scored the first goal of training camp festival for the Red team late in the first period. The 27-year-old Lakeville, Minnesota native tallied 36 points in the AHL with the Cleveland Monsters last season.

Patrick Kane answered back for the White team soon after by putting a puck under the crossbar and over goaltender Cam Ward’s shoulder to make it 1-1.

Forward David Kampf scored early in the third period to put the White team up 2-1. Kampf had four goals and seven assists with the Hawks in 46 games last season. Matthew Highmore scored for the Red team a few shifts later. Highmore had two goals in 13 contests with the Hawks last year.

Defenseman Erik Gustafsson scored around the midway point of the third period for the White team to put them up 3-2.

Towards the end of regulation, Victor Ejdsell set up Dylan Sikura with a beautiful feed that tied it up 3-3. The team then played a scheduled 10-minute overtime period.

Dylan Sikura scored at 3:44 into the extra period of play to make it 4-3 Red. His second goal of the scrimmage. Jonathan Toews added an overtime tally at 7:55 in OT for Red to make it 5-3.

Brandon Saad passed it to Patrick Kane for a one-timer in the slot to bring White within 4-5. Then Artem Anisimov scored for Red to make the final 6-4 Red.

It was four-time Stanley Cup champ Chris Kunitz’s first training camp festival with the Hawks.

“Just driving to the rink today, seeing everybody waiting at the doors, they were here before most of us,” Kunitz said. “So it was exciting. Hopefully we put on a good show. It looked like guys were working hard, trying to get up to NHL speed as fast as we can.”

Kunitz was signed as a free agent in the offseason. Coach Quenneville put Kunitz on the left of Jonathan Toews opposite Alex DeBrincat to start camp.

“That means a lot,” Kunitz said. “To go out there, it’s been a while since I played big minutes with teams, but I knew coming here that I’d be able to slide up and down their lineup and go to whatever role they’re going to put me in and I’m okay with that.

“To go out there early and play with Johnny’ and Cat’ you try to just get up to speed. That’s one of the toughest things to do is think the game as your body is working as fast and trying to get into game speed as [fast] as you can. To go out there, it makes it easier so you have a little familiarity with guys and the way they play.

“Playing with better players creates more space for yourself, so go out there and work hard and hopefully it’ll all come together. Wherever the cards lie at the end, go out there and become the best team we can.”

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