It hasn’t been easy to find flaws with this Chicago Blackhawks team early on in the season. They’ve been that good.
With that said, there are still some concerns about players that are either struggling early on or have yet to show up entirely. One of those players that fits the former is defenseman Brent Seabrook.
As recently as last summer, I declared that Seabrook was the best defenseman that the Hawks had and that he had officially supplanted Duncan Keith as the no. 1 guy on the Chicago blue line. So far this season, it would look like I was wrong on both counts.
Keith has shown a return to form, while Seabrook has looked like he was sitting on his couch for most of the 100+ days of the NHL lockout. He hasn’t been the player most expect to see when no. 7 steps on the ice. The smarts, the touch, and even some of the physical play that we’re used to seeing from Seabrook has been absent.
Multiple times this season, we’ve seen Seabrook get caught flat-footed, or make a bad decision with the puck on his stick. His play hasn’t been overwhelmingly terrible, but it has been noticeably poor.
In six games for the Hawks this season, Seabrook is sitting at a minus-4, second worst on the team currently. Is his play a cause for concern? Not necessarily. It’s absolutely worth noting that as the Blackhawks continue their torrid pace this season, Seabrook has almost been left behind, though.
The likely cause of that is simply the lockout. Seabrook wasn’t playing overseas, and not all players, whether they were playing or not, can jump right back out there and perform at a high level in the first week. It should only be a matter of time before we see Seabrook return to his form.