Apr 15, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defensemanMichal Rozsival
(32) makes a defensive stop on a break away attempt by Nashville Predators defensemanRyan Ellis
(4) during the second period in game one of the first round of the the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
The time has come for the Blackhawks to bench Michal Rozsival. There is no more waiting for him to turn it around, or time for us to rely on his veteran experience anymore. He sucks, it is plain and simple! In the Game 1 victory , Rozsival was a minus -1 in 19:24 of ice time. The box score does not spell out how bad Rozsival was during game one of the playoffs. The Colin Wilson is the play that cemented Rozsival’s place on the bench. He left Wilson skate unabated to Corey Crawford. Wilson would then deposit the puck in the back of the net giving the Predators a one goal lead. After that goal, it was downhill for the veteran defenseman.
Rozsival along with Kimmo Timonen were so bad in the game that Coach Quenneville went down to four defenseman for the majority of the game. He played Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, Johnny Oduya, and Niklas Hjalmarsson exclusively. It is stunning to think that Blackhawks coaching staff sent Rozsival out on the ice for the playoffs after his POOR regular season.
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Before this season with the Blackhawks, Rozsival was a part time player during the regular season and then played with Nick Leddy on the back end in the playoffs. Rozsival used to split time with Sheldon Brookbank during the regular season, but the Blackhawks parted way with Brookbank in the offseason. Before this season Rozsival had appeared in 69 regular season games with the Blackhawks. That was in two seasons!! This year Rozsival was exposed. He appeared in 65 games this season. He also did not have Leddy to cover up his many mistakes.
The sad thing about the Rozsival situation is that it has exposed a major weakness in the Blackhawks organization. The Blackhawks currently do not have a young top six defenseman ready to play at the NHL level. They did have Leddy but had to trade him to get under the salary cap this season. The Blackhawks have tried reclamation projects in David Rundblad and Tim Erixon. They had young prospects Adam Clendening, Klas Dahlbeck, and Trevor van Riemsdyk try to fill the void, but all three were not able to do it. Erixon, Clendening, and Dahlbeck are no longer apart of the Blackhawks organization while TVR has been hurt twice this season and might injury prone.
The time is now to bench Rozsival but the real worry should be, who will replace him?
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