It's not exactly Thunderdome, but prior to every game, a trio of Blackhawks defensemen enter the locker room knowing full well that only one of them will be hitting the ice that night to partner with Nick Leddy.
Last week it was Michal Rozsival playing consecutive games against San Jose and the Rangers. Saturday in Montreal, it was Michael Kostka's turn, and last night against Edmonton, Sheldon Brookbank got the call.
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"It's tricky playing every third game and it's tricky having a different partner every game for Nick," coach Joel Quenneville said. "Last year it was a two-man rotation (Rozsival and Brookbank) and this year it's three.
"You'd like to say it's pretty amazing that things haven't changed. The guys have been good about it -- it's not an easy decision."
So, how exactly is the ultimate decision made?
"Sometimes it's a matchup," Quenneville said, "but most times it's almost a rotation."
Bryan Bickell is now scoreless in his last six games.
From giving him some extended bench time to moving him around the lineup, coach Joel Quenneville is trying any method available to try to instill some confidence in No. 29.
"I think with him (confidence) is a big factor," Quenneville said. "We're trying to get him there where he's comfortable with the puck, with his positioning and his thought process as well.
Did you know?
Duncan Keith is the fastest Blackhawk in franchise history to reach 40 assists in a single season (46 games played), according to Elias Sports Bureau. Keith recorded his 41st assist of the year Sunday night and ranks third in the NHL and first among league defensemen in assists. ... Marian Hossa posted a goal tonight, becoming Chicago's third player this season to net a goal on his birthday
He said it:
"Why wouldn't I? He's a great player and I'd love to play with him."
-- Andrew Shaw, on whther he'd like to continuing to center for Patrick Kane like he did Sunday night.