The last week has been a nightmare for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Those ever-present questions about their goaltending reared their ugly head again. The weekend saw the young, talented team blow two third period leads in two days. They are now on a rare three game losing streak after a 4-2 loss against the Ducks that saw more than a few questionable calls by officials (seriously, how could Corey Perry get away with checking Brent Sopel from behind while the puck was in the air … a check that opened things up for Saku Koivu’s game winner?).
Still, those blows are of the temporary sort and are largely emotional.
Longer term problems may come in the form of injuries to their defensemen. As we know, Brian Campbell will miss the rest of the regular season and likely a big chunk (if not all of) the playoffs after Sunday’s hit from Alex Ovechkin. Kim Johnsson has missed the last two games with “an upper body injury.” Now, the Chicago Tribune reports that Brent Seabrook is day-to-day because of an unacceptable hit from James Wisniewski.
Wisniewski – a former member of the Blackhawks – administered the hit soon after Seabrook had hit Corey Perry. Chicago coach Joel Quenneville was understandably upset about it. Here’s his quote from a story in the Tribune.
“There are certain hits in a game that are tolerable if you have the puck,” a visibly angry Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “(If) you hit a guy without the puck you can kill a guy. It’s the most dangerous hit in the history of the game. He tried to hurt him. That’s as a bad a hit as you can ever have in the game.”
Seabrook has had concussion problems already this season, so it remains to be seen if he misses a considerable amount of time. ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers reports that defenseman-turned-forward Dustin Bfyuglien moved back to his former position last night, so perhaps the Blackhawks will benefit from not trading the rugged player after all.
Still, if Seabrook misses significant amounts of time, that is two of the team’s top four defensemen, lost in one week. Things are not looking good for the Hawks right now.