Chicago Blackhawks Defensive Pairings Battle: BU Vs. Joel Quenneville

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 08: Ryan Ellis /
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NASHVILLE, TN – APRIL 20: Michal Kempny
NASHVILLE, TN – APRIL 20: Michal Kempny /

Second pairing predictions

Blackhawk Up prediction: Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook

Joel Quenneville prediction: Gustav Forsling-Connor Murphy

Basic idea for the Coach Q prediction: pair big guy with small guy. Forsling is a budding offensive defenseman, while Murphy is a solid puck mover and skater.

I don’t think this would be the best use of Murphy’s talents, but I could see the Forsling-Murphy pairing existing to start the season simply because their skill sets would work well together, and Murphy can bail out Forsling with his skating ability and size.

For my money, I still want to see Kempny with Seabrook. That pairing actually had some chemistry in the middle stages last season. Then Kempny rode the pine so consistently that there was no way he’d have chemistry with anyone.

Seabrook has obviously slowed from his prime days, so why not put him with Kempny, who can skate the puck out of pretty much any situation? Seabrook plays far better in the offensive zone, while Kempny is more inclined to worry about defense. It makes sense pairing the two.

We’re still meeting the lefty (Kempny) and righty (Seabrook) setup here. And these two would have the benefit of a second season’s worth of playing time together under their belts. Bowman already has said guys like Kempny and Forsling will have bigger roles on the team next season. I think Kempny is more prepared for that, so show some trust in him by giving him this spot.