Nov 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin (6) and Chicago Blackhawks center Tanner Kero (67) battle for the puck in the third period of the game at Staples Center. Kings won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
4. Kero deserves a spot in the lineup. Tanner Kero has been in the Hawks lineup for 13 games before being a healthy scratch on Friday against the Ducks. He played over 10 minutes in all these games, with his highest TOI being 15:53. He’s been a steady presence, centering both the third and fourth lines. He was originally brought up because he was scoring goals in the AHL, but he stayed because of his defensive abilities .
He has especially carved out a niche for himself on the penalty kill, and looked really good in that department against San Jose this past Wednesday (he earned an assist in this tilt as well).
So why was he scratched in Anaheim? Minor injury maybe? To show him he can’t take his spot for granted? We’ll probably never know. But needless to say, he was back in the lineup against the Kings. He picked up right where he left off, centering the fourth line of Brandon Mashinter and Andrew Desjardins. He played 11:51 minutes, and continued to contribute on the penalty kill.
Teuvo Teravainen was out a handful of games with an injury, and his return coincided with Kero’s scratch. Marko Dano was the odd man out on Saturday. And for some reason nobody seems to understand, Coach Q keeps on trotting out Mashinter. But based upon Kero’s last 14 games, I think he deserves to be a regular in the lineup.
3. Seabrook is important. Brent Seabrook tends to not get the recognition he deserves when it comes to his contributions. Part of this is because he is a defenseman, and we all naturally tend to follow the offense. Another part of this is because Seabrook is on the same team as two-time Norris Trophy winner, Duncan Keith.
But Seabs is a very important cog in the Chicago Blackhawk’s machine, and it showed in these past two games. On Friday, he had a three point night. He had the secondary assist on Hossa’s goal, and the primary assist on both Keith and Anisimov’s goals. He was a contributing factor for all three goals, and the win.
On Saturday, it was Seabrook’s turnover that directly led to Marian Gaborik’s game tying goal. Although he wasn’t the reason the Hawks lost, it’s safe to say he was a contributing factor.
But Seabs has been playing well a lot more than not all season. He is currently third on the team in points, with 19. He has 5 goals and 14 assists, with a +3 rating. Everybody makes mistakes, and this is one I’m sure Seabrook can put behind him.