With Connor Murphy unfit to play and Calvin de Haan missing practice due to a family matter, injuries could haunt the Chicago Blackhawks thin defensive core in the playoffs.
The Chicago Blackhawks are at a point right now where they cannot afford any defensive injuries. Connor Murphy is unfit to play, which could mean a lot of things. We don’t know how long he will be out, which is a huge loss for the team.
Calvin de Haan missed most of the season due to injury and has missed the past few days of practice due to a family matter. de Haan could be a huge factor for the Blackhawks in the playoffs, with their defensive core becoming thinner every time a player becomes unfit to play.
Right now, here are the Blackhawks defensive pairings:
Olli Maatta and Slater Koekkoek are a decent second line, but lack the depth the first line gives Chicago. Maatta and de Haan would be a way more successful line, but we don’t know how long de Haan will be out.
That leaves four more defensemen, Carlsson, Seabrook, Beaudin, and Seeler. It depends on if the Blackhawks run with a 7th defensemen or not. If they do, expect to see that third line messed with. If not, the best line they’ll get experience wise is Seeler and Seabrook.
I like the idea of putting Nick Seeler and Brent Seabrook together, but with the way things are looking right now, that third playoff line will be Carlsson and Seabrook. This team cannot afford another defensive injury, as they look very thin right now.
The series against the Oilers will come down to that third defensive pairing. Can they hold up?