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Tuesday, December 12

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Blackhawks Thu Mar 29 2012

Hawks Making Up for Lost Teammates

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for GB blackhawks icon.pngLast week's game against the Vancouver Canucks was a heated battle, as evidenced by the vicious interactions between Duncan Keith and Daniel Sedin. Keith was suspended for five games after a particularly brutal elbow to Sedin's head. While Keith's hit was excessive, the suspension seems a bit heavy handed when, not seven minutes before, Sedin dealt an almost identical blow to Keith after the play and didn't receive so much as a wrist slap or a dirty look from officials.

Despite the injustice of the situation, Keith is taking the suspension in stride, and all that's left is for the rest of the team to compensate for the missing defenseman and leader until Chicago can see him skate again in the last two games of regular season, and likely, the playoffs.

His absence was felt during Sunday's game against Nashville when the Hawks failed to score during any of their four power-plays, and allowed six goals, falling 6-1 to the Predators.

The other defensemen are adjusting. Steve Montador was back on the ice for Tuesday's game after missing 22 games due to a concussion, though only briefly. Brent Seabrook even served the game-tying goal against the Devils. Still struggling to win power-play faceoffs though, the Hawks suffered a narrow overtime loss to New Jersey.

The Blackhawks are experienced in adjusting when one of their stars is incapacitated. They've managed to snag a possible playoff spot in lieu of an injured Jonathan Toews, who, despite missing 17 games, is currently tied with Marian Hossa for the second most goals scored on the team this season, trailing Sharp by a single goal. While Montador was out for more than 20 games, rookies and veterans alike rose to the challenge on defense. Left wing Daniel Carcillo has been out since January with a torn ACL and wont return until next season.

This team has never been a one-man operation, and though the first two Keith-less games were less than perfect, the Blackhawks will endure because that is what they do. Granted, they know they'll have their star defensemen back in a matter of a week, so there's no rush to fill his void as though he was injured indefinitely. However, as the sixth seed prior to playoffs, with only a handful of matches left, they wont be taking any games lightly.

 
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