It was bad news for the Chicago Blackhawks when starting goalie Corey Crawford recently went on the Injured Reserve list with an upper body injury. It was bad news for the Rockford IceHogs when the Blackhawks recalled goalie Jeff Glass. Such is life for an AHL team.
Glass had started 9 of the last 10 games for the IceHogs, winning 6 of those games. Glass gave up 24 goals in that stretch, but 8 came in one game. Overall for the season, in 18 games, Glass has a save percentage of 91.7%. That’s good for 14th in the AHL, but if you take out that 8 goal outlier and substitute his average game, that percentage jumps to 92.7%, good for 4th in the AHL. One bad game really messes with his stats.
Meanwhile, the IceHogs have recalled goaltender Matt Tomkins from the Indy Fuel, their ECHL affiliate. In 8 games, Tomkins is 4-3-0 with a 2.73 GAA and .931 save percentage. He was recently names Goaltender of the Week. During that week, Indy had back-to-back wins and Tomkins had a 1.50 GAA and 96.7% save percentage.
Coach Jeremy Colliton will not let the situation affect the team. It’s part of the routine of any minor league affiliate. The length of Crawford’s absence is unknown now. Rockford’s other goalie, Jean-Francois Berube and the newly arrived Tomkins will have to pick up the slack and the team will have to rally around the netminders.
Heading into 2018, Rockford is 18-13-1-1 with 38 points and a .576 winning percentage. That puts them in a tie for 2nd place (with the Iowa Wild) in the Central Division and 6th overall in the Western Conference.
Glass made the most of his NHL debut, stopping 42 of 45 shots, as the Hawks beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3. The 32 year old goalie had 2 prior stints in the NHL, but had not appeared in any games.
That’s a lot of goalie news to digest. Crawford’s injury presents challenges to both the Hogs and the Hawks, but it also provides opportunities for other goalies. Obviously, the hope is for a speedy recovery for Crawford, but only time will tell. It will be interesting to see it all play out.