Mar 12, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche left wing Cody McLeod (55) fights with Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Sheldon Brookbank (17) in the first period at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The #ProjectBrookbank era was thought to be over months ago, but it reared its ugly head again for no apparent reason in Colorado Wednesday night. The stat line simply reads, Sheldon Brookbank- 4:33 Time on Ice, 5:00 Major for fighting.
The second Joel Quenneville floated out the idea of carrying 8 defenseman for this season many experts and fans were up in arms. First, the Blackhawks lost Ryan Stanton on waivers before the season ever started to save Michael Kostka. Kostka who wasn’t helped by getting injured early in the season best attribute was being able to play Thor in the Blackhawks Christmas video didn’t survive the Olympic break before being placed on waivers and getting picked up by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Then right before the deadline Stan comes out and says that the Hawks are done carrying 8 defensman and low and behold he trades for David Rundblad and with the Salary cap jail the Hawks are in the we are back at square #1 with 8 defenseman.
To make matters worse, what Islanders fans have seen and the Hawks fans have seen in a small sample size is that Peter Regin isn’t very special at anything and he was had a first class ticket seat to Joel Quenneville’s dog house Wednesday night. With only two other options at forward welcome back Projectbrookbank. How did we get to this with 16 games left in the season?
I almost understood the Brookbank play earlier in the season when it was a teaching lesson to Jeremy Morin about defensive responsibility but now is not the time for lessons. The Hawks secret last season was rolling 4 lines out there game in and game out and wearing teams down. This season is the complete opposite with the Hawks rolling two lines, a suspect 2nd line with Handzus anchoring down the offense and third line that never sees the ice.
Last night is more proof that if this season doesn’t end like last year there will be a lot of finger-pointing at both Stan and more importantly Joel Quenneville. His love for Handzus ran Pirri out of town, his stubbornness of Morin has one of the best AHL offensive players still in the AHL and don’t forget the Hawks have thrown a lot more 2’s and 1’s on the scoreboard after their blistering December that covers up their recent lack of offense. Yet worst of all is the carrying 8 defenseman and playing them at forward.
Sheldon Brookbank is an average 7th defenseman and that’s his role on this team, but he’s not an offensive player especially on a night that was so big in the divisional standings. The ProjectBrookbank era never needs to be seen again this season or it the likelihood of a short post season is starring the Blackhawks and Joel right between the eyes!!
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