With two games remaining until the Christmas break, Chicago leads the entire NHL with 46 points. On Sunday, the Blackhawks rolled over the Calgary Flames 4-2, to capture their fifth consecutive victory. As was the case against the Flames, goaltender Ray Emery has been solid throughout the winning streak.
With wins over the staggering Ducks and the road-weary Flames this weekend, the Hawks have taken care of business. Very good clubs win the games they should and the Hawks stayed focus to record victories over lesser opponents. Now, there could be another test at hand.
Near the 15:25 mark of the opening period, Brent Seabrook was checked from behind by former Blackhawk Rene Bourque. Seabrook appeared to hit his jaw on the boards and immediately fell to the ice. After going head first into the boards, Seabrook was dazed and stayed down for awhile.
When Seabrook was helped to the bench, he was met by the team doctor and was taken to the dressing room for evaluation. Seabrook did not return to the game. Bourque received a five minute major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct for his dangerous hit from behind.
After the game, Joel Quenneville commented Seabrook seemed to be fine but more would be known Monday. Quenneville was hopeful Seabrook was not seriously hurt. If the injury is deemed to be a concussion, it could be Seabrook’s fourth since the 2009-2010 season.
As written here last week , the Blackhawks have been very fortunate not to suffer many significant injuries. The Hawks have only lost 23 man games due to injury so far this season. After 33 games, that is a very small total. There have been times in recent years the Hawks have had well over 200 man games lost in a season. Last year, the Hawks suffered a reasonable amount of injuries, with 144 man games lost.
The Blackhawks deserve their status as the top club in the NHL, as they have accomplished what the best teams do. The Hawks have an outstanding home ice record of 11-2-3 and also have a solid 10-6-1 road record. They have beaten teams they should and have come up with strong efforts on most nights. Hopefully, Seabrook hasn’t suffered a concussion, but if he has, the Hawks will need to overcome an injury to a significant player.
The very best franchises can win despite injuries. They do so by playing a strong system that enables them to adapt more readily when a key team member is hurt and out of action. No club exemplifies overcoming injuries over the past two seasons more than Tuesday’s opponent, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
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