Heading back to Chicago trailing their first-round series with the St. Louis Blues two games to none, the Chicago Blackhawks were already in trouble. But now their uphill climb has gotten even steeper, as the long arm of the law has come down on Brent Seabrook for his nasty hit on David Backes in Game 2.
[Puck Daddy: Seabrook ejected after hit to head of David Backes]
Fittingly for this Easter Sunday, it will be three game days before Seabrook can rise again. Here's Patrick Burke to explain why:
Three games is a big suspension, but it seems justified, in this case.
The argument in defense of Seabrook could be that he didn't know Backes had failed to gain control of the puck, but the Department doesn't seem convinced. "While it is possible," Burke says, "the onus is still on Seabrook to ensure that he does not hit an ineligible opponent."
But he does, and he does so illegally, at that: "This is both interference and charging."
It's never a good sign when there are two ways to approach the rationate for your suspension, and really, there are three. The most interesting thing about this suspension video is that the DOPS doesn't mention the hit to the head at all. It's also never a good sign when you can be justify a three-game suspension without even touching on the head contact. (Hell, Blackhawks fans should be grateful. It's almost as though the DOPS cops just forgot there was a third problem with the hit. Had they brought it up, they could have defended giving Seabrook 4, or even 5 games.)
But you can see why it's hardly the issue here. Seabrook's hit would have been illegal two times over regardless of where the contact was. As Burke explains, "Seabrook skates some distance before making this hit, so he has time to avoid this check completely. Instead, he skates into the hit, and drives up with his right shoulder, delivering a violent blow that causes an injury."
Seabrook will be unavailable for the Blackhawks until Game 6, provided this series gets that far. The way things are going for Chicago, it's hardly a guarantee.