Dustin Byfuglien Moving Back To Right Wing Against Vancouver Canucks

Michael WagnerSenior Analyst IApril 28, 2010

CHICAGO - MARCH 23: Dustin Byfuglien #33 of the Chicago Blackhawks prepares to shoot against the Phoenix Coyotes at the United Center on March 23, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Coyotes 2-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

After quite an admirable run at defense for the Chicago Blackhawks' utility man Dustin Byfuglien, it looks as though he will return to right wing during the second round of the NHL playoffs.

While on defense, Byfuglien was held scoreless during the Blackhawks' first-round matchup against the Nashville Preadators and posted a minus-two rating. 

The reason for moving Byfuglien back to wing, the position he played most of the regular season, is quite clear as he was a major thorn in the side of Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo during last seasons playoffs.

Byfuglien was not tremendously effective on the scoresheet against the Canucks during last years playoffs scoring two goals, minus-two rating and 14 penalty minutes.

However, Byfuglien's true value last season was putting his wide body in front of Robert Luongo and limiting his ability to see the puck. Scoring points would just be icing on the cake for the Blackhawks.

You could tell throughout the series last season that Luongo was growing weary of the net presence Byfuglien and many of the other Blackhawks provided.

With Byfuglien's move back to wing it, likely means that defenseman Jordan Hendry will be the one to fill in his spot on the blue line as they are still without Kim Johnsson who has been out since March 14th with concussion-like symptoms.

Once again this year, Byfuglien will be a major factor for the Blackhawks ability to get to pucks behind Luongo and move past the Canucks to the Western Conference final.