Chicago Blackhawks' Seabrook healthy scratch for only second time
For just the second time in his career, Brent Seabrook was a healthy scratch as the veteran defenseman did not play during the Blackhawks' 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday at the United Center.
Dennis Gilbert, who was recalled from Rockford in the wake of Connor Murphy's injury, took Seabrook's place and dished out 8 hits in 16 minutes while paired with Erik Gustafsson.
"It's a back-to-back, so it's a good opportunity to give Seabs a rest and see what Gilbert has," Hawks coach Jeremy Colliton said beforehand.
Asked how Seabrook took the news, Colliton paused for several seconds and said: "It is what it is. Coach's decision."
So was he OK with it?
"I don't think anyone's OK with not playing," Colliton said.
Seabrook, who has 1 goal, no assists and a 43.9 Corsi rating in 5-on-5 play, also was scratched Jan. 9, 2018, at Ottawa. The Hawks won that game 8-2 behind Patrick Kane's 5 points, and 2 goals each from Jonathan Toews and Nick Schmaltz.
Seabrook has been on the ice for key goals by opponents in each of the last four games. He was a minus-2 during a 4-0 loss Saturday at Carolina.
"I think he's been fine," Colliton said. "He's working hard, he's trying to do the right things for us. He's had some really good moments.
"And just like the rest of our team, there's been times where we need more."
Brendan Perlini and Zack Smith were the Hawks' other healthy scratches.
The Blackhawks have just 3 power-play goals on the season, 2 from Alex DeBrincat and 1 from Brent Seabrook. Coming into Sunday's game, they ranked 26th in the NHL with a 10.3 percent success rate.
The Hawks had 2 power-play opportunities against the Kings and failed to convert either one.
The Hawks dished out 45 hits against the Kings. It was the seventh time they've recorded 40 or more since the NHL began tracking hits in 1997. Dennis Gilbert (8), Calvin de Haan (6) and Andrew Shaw (5) led the way. … The Kings have been outscored 20-9 in the third period this season. … Since 3-on-3 overtime began, the Kings lead the league with 40 victories and a .678 win percentage. The Hawks are second in victories with 35.