In Game 2 of this first round series against the St. Louis Blues, Brent Seabrook found Blues captain David Backes and sent him hard into the boards. He was given a game misconduct penalty, which many people think is the reason the Blackhawks lost that game, and was suspended for three games by the NHL. Backes himself was ruled out for two games with concussion symptoms, and made his return Friday night. Today it is Seabrook’s turn to be back in the lineup.
Brent Seabrook had a goal and an assist in both of the games he played in this series. In the regular season, he had 7 goals and 34 assists and was a +23. He also played all 82 games and had good posession numbers with a CF% of 56.8% (advanced stats from www.extraskater.com). The Blackhawks lost the two games that Seabrook played in, and have won all three of the games in which he was suspended.
His substitute, Sheldon Brookbank, has caught the eye of many Hawks fans with his physical play. Some people even believe that Brookbank has contributed more in this series than Seabrook has, and some even think that he is more deserving to play than Seabrook. Although he has an assist in 2 of the 3 games that he has played, he has contributed more with his physicality. The Blackhawks are not an overly physical team, but it is nice to have a physical player in the game sometimes. The truth of the matter is that Seabrook has been a huge contributor to this team for a very long time. For the last 5 years, he has arguably been the Blackhawks second best defenseman behind Norris Trophy Candidate Duncan Keith. He is a huge factor in every game for the Hawks. I believe that no matter what, he should play.
Today, the Blackhawks have a chance to eliminate the Blues and move on to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Lets all welcome back number 7!