The Chicago Blackhawks continue to roll on the road, winning their third game in a row in Colorado Monday night. In the aftermath of the 'Hawks 5-2 win comes a strong message from coach Joel Quenneville.
That message was loud and clear when he benched Brent Seabrook.
With the 'Hawks up two goals and on the power play in the final minutes of the opening period, Matt Duchene gained control of a loose puck off the boards and sent it to Gabriel Landeskog coming out of the Avalanche zone. Seabrook was unable to make a play on the Colorado captain and Landeskog flipped a shorthanded goal over the blocker of Ray Emery.
The Blackhawks went from possibly icing the contest early to giving Colorado a much-needed shot in the arm. Seabrook did not appear to be injured on the play unless he was affected by the vapor trail left by Landeskog.
That was the last shift of hockey Seabrook played for the next 13 minutes.
There was no word on any injury from Quenneville, but he did comment when reporters asked about Seabrook after the game:
We made a move there, but he (Seabrook) got back in there, scored a nice goal.
Was Joel Quenneville right to bench Brent Seabrook?
Seabrook did seem to respond to the time off, blasting a one-timer from the feed of Patrick Kane on his second shift back in the game 14:40 into the second period. The goal gave the Blackhawks a 4-1 advantage.
Seabrook also got the ball rolling on the fifth Chicago goal by getting to a loose puck in his own zone. He was able to knock it to Brandon Saad, leading to a Jonathan Toews goal, which effectively ended any hope of a Colorado comeback.
I'd say the response to the benching was positive.
Seabrook logged just 14:15 of ice time Monday, with Michal Roszival and Nick Leddy picking up the slack. On a night where Brandon Bollig skated over 12 minutes, Seabrook's midgame vacation stands out even more.
It's one thing to garner praise when the lineup is producing like it has in 2013. It takes a little more in the stones department to sit one of your team's stars. Quenneville hasn't been afraid to send a message to any of his players when he deemed it necessary.
Whether you agree or disagree on Seabrook's benching, Quenneville deserves props for taking the stand with a high-salaried player.