Nobody can debate Brent Seabrook's toughness and durability.
When James Wisniewski brutally hit Seabrook in the head last season with a high stick, the Blackhawks' defenseman missed only two games.
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After taking Raffi Torres' head shot in Game 3, Seabrook was able to finish despite suffering a concussion.
Seabrook was back in the Hawks' lineup Sunday for Game 6 after missing two games as a result of the hit by Torres that went unpunished by the NHL.
"Physically he's able to, I don't know if the word is fight back, but withstand that type of hit," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We know the one thing you don't have to worry about is his toughness. It's there."
Apparently, Seabrook passed the necessary tests Sunday to be cleared to play.
"He's an important part or our team," Quenneville said before the Hawks' 4-3 win in overtime sent the series to a Game 7 on Tursday. "His makeup and leadership qualities are a big part of our team. Even though he wasn't playing you could feel his presence around the locker room and the guys competed for him in ways which were nice to see. The fact he gets to play again helps us out in a lot of ways."
Seabrook had to sweat it out watching his teammates win two elimination games to force a sixth game.
"He just wanted another chance to play and we wanted to give it to him," teammate Chris Campoli said. "Obviously we had to find a way to stay alive in the series and it's not easy to do it without one of your best players. He was open about getting another chance and so far we've been lucky enough to give it to him.
"There's no doubt Brent is a big part of our team. In my opinion he's a legitimate No. 1 no matter what team he's on."
Seabrook played 23 minutes in his return and was plus-1 with 3 hits and 2 blocked shots.
The Hawks' defense, which rose to the occasion without Brent Seabrook, led by Duncan Keith, Brian Campbell, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Chris Campoli, had some scary moments in Game 6 with turnovers. But in the end, the defense combined for 17 of the Hawks' 31 blocked shots, led by Campoli's 6.
Fighting through it:
Jonathan Toews said there has been a lot of talk in the dressing room with the players in their first playoff series about dealing with the highs and lows of the postseason, such as when the Hawks were down 3-0 in the series.
"To win a Stanley Cup you're going to have a couple moments where it's going to feel like its all over and the dream is dashed," Toews said. "You find a way to rise about it and get through it and when you look back it seems like it was meant to be."