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Chicago Blackhawks' Collin Delia shows off unusual pre-game ritual

By Connor Grott
Chicago Blackhawks goalie Collin Delia had 26 saves Wednesday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Photo courtesy of NHL/YouTube
Chicago Blackhawks goalie Collin Delia had 26 saves Wednesday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Photo courtesy of NHL/YouTube

March 14 (UPI) -- Chicago Blackhawks goalie Collin Delia had an interesting warm-up routine before the team's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.

Delia's ritual started with a juggling act. The goaltender had three tennis balls and began to toss them into the air. He eventually juggled with one hand.

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Delia's pre-game routine switched to him pulling an invisible string, followed by the goalie impersonating a marionette.

The Blackhawks netminder, who substituted in for Corey Crawford (illness) in the third period of Wednesday's game, finished his ritual with a continuous roll of his eyes to test his peripheral vision.

Crawford stopped 17 of the 18 shots he faced through two periods before exiting the matchup with an illness. Delia had 26 saves in his lone period of action.

Chicago led 5-1 entering the final period. The Maple Leafs peppered Delia with 29 shots in the third, netting three scores. The Blackhawks held on for a 5-4 victory.

Delia has a 6-4-3 record in 16 games (14 starts) this season. He has a 3.61 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage.

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Chicago is in 11th place in the Western Conference standings. The Blackhawks trail the Arizona Coyotes by four points for the second wild-card spot in the West.

The Blackhawks play the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.

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