With Corey Crawford out with a concussion, Cam Ward got the start in goal for the Blackhawks Tuesday evening against the Predators, but expect Collin Delia to get some significant action with the Blackhawks’ going forward.
Delia was recalled up by the Blackhawks from the Rockford IceHogs on Monday. Blackhawks’ head coach Jeremy Colliton knows well what Delia is capable of doing. It was Delia who carried the IceHogs through the first two rounds of the AHL’s Calder Cup Playoffs last spring while Colliton was on the IceHogs’ bench as head coach.
“He had a great season. He came a long way in a short time,” said Colliton to reporters Tuesday after a morning skate. “Very important, high-pressure games in the spring and he did a great job and he’s kind of picked up where he left off down in Rockford. We’re excited to get him here. Of course the circumstances are less than ideal but a lot of times that’s when guys break through.”
Most AHL terams couldn’t afford to lose a goaltender the caliber of Delia without it impacting them in a big way. He was leading the AHL in save percentage (.933) and he ranked third in the league in goals against average (2.34). But the IceHogs should still be fine in goal with Anton Forsberg ready to see the bulk of the minutes and young, promising Kevin Lankinen just up from the Indy Fuel ready to backup Forsberg.
“Obviously it’s good for him (Delia),” said IceHogs’ coach Derek King Tuesday morning of Delia’s promotion. “Whether it was Forsberg or Delia going up I think either one could have went up and did a good job. It wasn’t going to hurt us because they’re both pretty special goaltenders especially in this league.”