4. Defensive Woes. This is an issue that isn’t going to go away, unless Stan Bowman pulls some magic at the trade deadline. Rob Scuderi played instead of Michal Rozsival on Thursday night. Now perhaps Rozy needed some maintenance time, but he was coming off of two very strong games. And Scuderi just isn’t proving to be a very good substitute.
On Saturday, Viktor Svedberg suited up, and Erik Gustafsson was a healthy scratch. Again, why sit Gusty? He’s been playing pretty well lately, and has some offensive punch to his game. Is Coach Q just trying to light a fire under Gustafsson? While at the same time trying to see what he has in Svedberg? Either way, it all makes me nervous.
3. Defensive Contributions. On the other side of the coin, the Chicago Blackhawks have only scored 4 goals in the last 3 games, and 3 of them have come from the defense. Duncan Keith got the Hawks back into things with a goal against the Dallas Stars on Thursday. And then it was Brent Seabrook that was the only Blackhawk to score against the Ducks, and he did so twice!
With his two goals, Seabs now has 10 goals on the season, which is a new career high for him. He’s had 9 goals in three previous seasons. So Seabs is having himself quite the year, especially since there’s still 23 games to go.
And don’t forget about Corey Crawford. Yes, he let in those 4 goals against Dallas on Thursday, but he didn’t have a lot of help in front of him. But then he bounced back pretty well on Saturday, stopping 41 of 44 shots. And remember, one of his goals against occurred on a 4-on-3 in overtime. Crawford is keeping the Hawks in these games when the team is struggling to generate offense.