The Chicago Blackhawks are struggling, one loss away from elimination in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
This isn’t where many people thought the 2013 Presidents’ Trophy winners would be at this point in the spring.
Jonathan Toews isn’t playing like the Jonathan Toews of old. And what has happened to Brent Seabrook, the Blackhawks’ 28-year-old right-handed defenseman?
He’s seen reduced ice time as this Western Conference semifinal series with the Detroit Red Wings has gone one. In Game 4, he played only 12 minutes and three seconds.
That’s down from Game 3, when he played 17:57. The game before that: 18:28.
Look a little further to the left, and there are a lot of negative numbers building in the plus-minus column.
He’s a minus-five in this series, which has the Blackhawks down 3-1. The drop in ice time, based on the coach’s comments, seems in direct connection with his drop in play.
“Usually it’s reflection of your performance and your contribution,’’ Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville told the Chicago Sun-Times.
“Sometimes your minutes are higher than others in games or stretches of games.
‘’But at the same time, we want to make sure everybody’s got confidence. And we want to make sure their importance to the team is something that … getting everybody going is part of it as well. So sometimes, it’s earned. And sometimes there’s hope to get more, too. We’ll see.’’