With three regulars on injured reserve and captain Jonathan Toews
still sidelined, the Blackhawks’ list of injured players will shrink tonight as defenseman Brent Seabrook
will take the ice in Nashville.
“He’s a big key for us and one of the guys we really rely on,” said Seabrook’s defensive partner Duncan Keith
. “Obviously, we’ve got some chemistry because we’ve been playing together for a while. It’s just a matter of us getting back into the swing of it and doing what we always do.”
Although he has been cleared to skate, head coach Joel Quenneville says that Seabrook’s playing time tonight is dependant on how he feels as the game progresses. Seabrook ranks second on the team in ice time, averaging nearly 26 minutes per game.
“We’ll see how he’s feeling and how he’s playing,” Quenneville said. “He’ll probably get a steady workload to start the game. He’s ready to play and he feels good. He will dictate how much he plays.” Let’s Play 7
With Seabrook’s return and only 11 healthy forwards on the roster, Quenneville said the Blackhawks will dress seven defensemen Thursday and Jordan Hendry will start with the fourth offensive line.
“I like his versatility,” Quenneville said of Hendry. “I think he’s got some speed and he shoots the puck well; it’s probably been a long time since he’s been playing in that spot. I’m going to start him up front, but he could play on the back end tonight, as well.”
As a kid, Hendry says that he often played wing, and Quenneville added that his experience could aid Hendry with his duties tonight.
“You can tell by the way he moves on the ice,” he said. “He’s got some speed, he can shoot. When you’ve got that defensive mindset in your game already, hopefully that should help him throughout the course of the game.”