Apr 3, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; linesman Jonny Murray (95) collides with Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Sheldon Brookbank (17) during the second period against the Minnesota Wild at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Coach Quenneville made a subtle change to his lineup for Game 6. The struggling Kris Versteeg was benched. Versteeg had played in only 6:48 in Game 5. He did not play after the second period. He has been AWFUL this season. Versteeg was benched in favor of Sheldon Brookbank. Brookbank is a Coach Quenneville favorite. Now Brookbank has dressed as a forward for the Blackhawks in the regular season. Brookbank has not dressed as a forward in these playoffs. Brookbank has played extremely well when called upon these playoffs but as defenseman.
Before last night, Brookbank had not dressed at all in the Kings series. The last game he dressed in was May 1th of the Wild Series. Now Brookbank did not set the score sheet on fire and did not play every much in the game. He logged 5:09 of ice time and recorded no shots. Broobank’s time was split between forward and defenseman.
Quenneville is gambling on the fact that Brookbank can play forward well enough for a minimal amount of time and not hurt the Blackhawks. As a defenseman Brookbank has been solid this season, but as forward he has not been very good. The safer choice in replacing Versteeg should not be Brookbank but instead should be Peter Regin. Regin is a solid forward who will not make the bonehead play like Versteeg. In Game 7 anything can happen and the Blackhawks final forward spot might be called upon to make or break the Stanley Cup dreams.
Coach Quenneville is gambling that Brookbank can make the Blackhawks Stanley Cup dreams. Are you willing to bet on Brookbank?
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