Acknowledging the Chicago Blackhawks' Need for Brian Campbell
Old news, I know, but only one game into the 2010-2011 season, I have already noticed the need for him on the blue line.
Last season, the Blackhawks lost Campbell due to injury, and he was immediately missed. Their 7-8 record without him in the regular season was a clear indication of his proficiency being needed on the ice.
His grace was presented instantaneously during the playoff series against the Nashville Predators.
The Blackhawks went on to win the last three games of the series, enabling them to face their new rival, the Vancouver Canucks.
This season, 19-year-old Nick Leddy has taken Campbell's place on the blue line with Niklas Hjalmarsson.
Leddy played his first game Thursday night at the Pepsi Center against the Colorado Avalanche.
Leddy's performance was mediocre, even though he came in with huge expectations. He appeared to revive during the third period and overtime, despite the loss.
Regardless of Leddy's performance, his aptitude and ability to stay in the NHL was evident.
The dilemma of Duncan Keith clocking in too much time on ice has been noted by most. In Thursday night's game, Keith spent a total of 33:39 on the ice.
This cannot continue all season long, or Keith will run out of gas before 2011 even hits.
Sadly, after the dismantling of the last season's Stanley Cup roster, Campbell is an essential.
Ten players have been lost, but only Brent Sopel departed from the champions' blue line. Even with such a well-built and brilliant defense, any loss is a big loss.
The ride will be bumpy, but aren't they all?
For the next month or so, Campbell will be missed on the Blackhawks, since he provided the team and fans with such poise on the ice.
The Blackhawks got through the loss of Campbell last season, even though it was tough, and at least this season, the injury occurred sooner rather than later.
Mikal Elyse is a contributor of BleacherReport.com and partner of chicagosportsauthority.com
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