The Chicago Blackhawks Now Need to Replace Michal Rozsival

By Sean Fitzgerald

Apr 17, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival (32) gets up after being hit by a high stick during the second period against the Nashville Predators in game two of the first round of the the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhawks offense has been clicking on cylinders. Corey Crawford has rediscovered his game. The only area of concern on the Blackhawks might have been the defense. The Blackhawks were thin on defense coming into this series with the Wild.  After last night, the defense got a lot thinner. The Blackhawks lost fifth defense-man Michal Rozsival to a gruesome leg injury.

Rozsival who has a history of knee injuries is not expected back anytime soon. There has been no timetable discussed on if or when he will return.

Coach Joel Quenneville now has TWO tough decisions to make. The first decision is who takes Rozisval’s roster spot. Do the Blackhawks dress David Rundblad or Kyle Cumiskey??  I am excluding Michael Paliotta because he is very inexperienced and hasn’t  The choice is not an easy one. On one had David Rundblad has appeared in more games with the Blackhawks this season. He recorded 14 points in 49 games this season. He also spent most of the season as the Blackhawks sixth/seventh defenseman.

On the other hand, we have Kyle Cuminskey. He appeared in seven Blackhawks games this season and recorded zero points. Cuminskey spent the majority of the ice in the AHL with the Rockford Icehogs.  In 54 games with Icehogs, He had two goals and 18 assists for 20 points. Now the one advantage Cunmiskey has over Rundblad is that he has appeared in the Stanley Cup Playoffs before. Cunmiskey appeared in six games with the Colorado Avalanche in 2009. He had two points and averaged 22:37 of ice time per game.

My choice would be Rundlbad because he has played with the Blackhawks more this season. The second decision is who takes the minutes vacated by Rozsival. Based on the minutes allocation last night, it appears Kimmo Timonen will not be used more than ten minutes a night. With that being said, expect the big four defenseman  to shoulder the majority of the minutes that Rozsival played.

It is good thing the Blackhawks have some time off. There big four defenseman of Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and Johnny Oduya better rest up for the next round. They are going to be used a lot more!