The Hits Just Keep On Coming, Kim Johnsson Out Against The Ducks

Michael Wagner@MichaelDWagnerSenior Analyst IMarch 17, 2010

After learning earlier today that the Chicago Blackhawks would be without one of their top defensemen Brian Campbell for up to eight weeks, we were also informed after 'Hawks practice that Kim Johnsson will be out of the lineup as well.

Johnsson was held out of the 'Hawks last game against the Washington Capitals with an upper body injury and apparently the same injury will keep him out of the game against Anaheim Ducks.

According to coach Joel Quenneville, Johnsson could return to the Blackhawks lineup as soon as Saturday against the Phoenix Coyotes.

With Johnsson out of the lineup for at least the next two games, the Blackhawks blue line will look much different. It will feature far less offensive upside with the likes of Nick Boynton and Jordan Hendry stepping in for Campbell and Johnsson.

Boynton was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks before the trade deadline and has spent most of his career as an NHL caliber defenseman.

He is a different type of defenseman than what the Blackhawks possess, as he is seen a bruising, physical defenseman, and he will bring some needed sandpaper to the lineup.

Hendry has seen limited time in the Blackhawks lineup this season, and in his limited action he has been solid on the back end, but now will be his opportunity to make his mark and possibly some more money/playing time this offseason.

Having both Johnsson and Campbell out of the lineup will also place more pressure on the likes of Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Niklas Hjalmarsson to pick up the slack on the back end.

The three of them have been arguably the Blackhawks' best defenseman, and they will now be asked to eat up even more minutes and continue to provide a stabilizing force on defense.

Although Johnsson will likely not miss much more time with his upper body, it could actually be a good development as it will allow Boynton to get his first action at the NHL level in several weeks.

Thankfully, it seems as though Johnsson's injury is not very serious and he should return shortly, but for the next few games we will see how the new defensive unit can adapt and help the Blackhawks get back on the winning track.

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