I’m doing a daily review of each Chicago Blackhawks player and giving out grades based on performance during the 2013-14 season thus far. Today, we examine Brent Seabrook.
Seabrook has been in the shadow of Duncan Keith’s Norris-worthy campaign in 2013-14, and consequently has not gotten anywhere near the accolades his play has earned.
Seabrook is enjoying the best season of his career. Turnovers in the defensive zone and ill-advised pinches in the offensive zone — two major problem areas of his game in the past — have been nearly non-existent this year. Seabrook’s offensive game has been excellent, as he will likely come close to matching his career high of 48 points that he set in 2010-11. It should be noted that he is playing almost three less minutes per game this year than he did that season, making the numbers still more impressive.
As the only genuinely imposing defenseman on Chicago’s roster, Seabrook’s hitting is a vital component to the Blackhawks’ success. He hasn’t disappointed in this respect, leading the team in hits along with Brandon Bollig and Andrew Shaw. Qualms about the stat’s usefulness aside, Seabrook’s +25 is telling. His defensive partner, Keith, is a noticeable step lower at +19 despite the two playing on the same pairing at even strength all season long.
Finally, Seabrook rarely takes penalties; he has only taken eight minors in 2013-14 despite the aforementioned physical playing style.
Final Verdict: A+.
It has been about as close to a flawless season for Seabrook as Blackhawks fans could have hoped for.