The Chicago Blackhawks brought Trevor van Riemsdyk back into the lineup, but he’s quickly back out due to injury
On Friday night, the Chicago Blackhawks dropped a 3-2 decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets. It was the second game of the season for defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk, who had last played in the season opener against St. Louis.
He wasn’t very good against the Blues, resulting in Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville benching TVR for the next three games. The doughouse stint ended for TVR last night, but we won’t be seeing much more of him in the near future.
TVR sustained an upper-body injury when trying to break up a scoring chance by the Jackets’ Josh Anderson in the second period. He went crashing hard into the goal behind Corey Crawford and wasn’t seen on the ice again.
It’s not clear exactly what TVR’s ailment is, but he showed up in the Blackhawks’ locker room Saturday in a sling and will reportedly miss 5-6 weeks with his upper-body injury.
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What this means for the Blackhawks right now
Now, I’m not a fan of TVR, but I didn’t want to see him leave the lineup via injury. It’s never good to take a hit to your defensive depth, no matter how much that depth might have been struggling. And it’s never good for anyone to get hurt.
On the positive side, the Blackhawks will hopefully be exempt from Q’s crazy lineup shenanigans with TVR out. Of course we’ll still have the line blender, which was whirring so fast last night nuts and bolts were hitting fans near the bench.
But it should hopefully prevent Q from doing the seven-defensemen act he pulled last night, actively hurting his team’s cause. Sure, they only wound up losing by a goal, but icing 12 forwards (granted, one of them would’ve been Jordin Tootoo regardless) could’ve made a huge difference in the game’s result.
Q could still roll with seven defensemen if he really wants to, I guess. Michal Rozsival still hasn’t suited up for a game this season and is still on the roster. But my hope would be the Blackhawks call up someone not named Brandon Mashinter or Kyle Baun and starting icing 12 forwards again.
What this means for the Blackhawks defense
TVR’s absence, while a depth dinger, shouldn’t change much for the current Blackhawks blue line. Things have been better than last season, though they’re still far from perfect.
Pairings of Niklas Hjalmarsson-Duncan Keith, Gustav Forsling-Brian Campbell and Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook. At this point, none of those pairings has been so totally offensive that they can’t be given more time to mesh (or, in the first pairing’s case, just continue to be good).
The Blackhawks would honestly be silly to call up another blueliner here. Rozsival can play a few games here and there, and there’s no reason to believe any of Campbell, Kempny or Forsling are tired this early in the season.
The Blackhawks have done a good job keeping those guys’ minutes relatively controlled so far, so there’s no reason to be resting them. And none of them have played so poorly that anyone in the AHL would be an improvement.
Chicago needs to work with what it has now. TVR’s loss is far from one that can derail a season, although it’d be hard to say the campaign is currently on the tracks.