Defensive struggles have long plagued the Chicago Blackhawks this season. But a four-game winning streak and a contract extension to fan favorite and much deserving defenseman, Brent Seabrook, have the 'Hawk fans in a state of optimism.
Still, the urgency for GM Stan Bowman to acquire a defenseman is increasing.
Nick Boynton was picked up off waivers by the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday, and Jordan Hendry was injured after a check early in the third period in Sunday night's game against Phoenix. Niklas Hjalmarsson almost missed Sunday's game due to a wrist injury, so the need for extra bodies on the blue line is dire.
Bowman has stated that he has been very busy all weekend, making phone calls to possible takers.
"We're talking to a lot of people," Bowman said before the Blackhawks' game against the Phoenix Coyotes. "I'm losing my voice here. I've been on the phone all day. You can't predict it. But we are aggressively trying to improve the team."
Improving the team, especially the defense, is something that must be done. A hidden gem was found in defenseman Nick Leddy, but the Blackhawks are going to need to find another hidden gem to be considered serious contenders.
The penalty killing continues to struggle. The Blackhawks are 26th out of 30 teams when it comes killing a power play, and Sunday didn't make any improvement to that.The 'Hawks continue to lose key faceoffs while down a man, and tonight it led to a puck in the back of the net.
Improving the defense could mean improving the penalty killing unit. The Blackhawks can no continue to win games when they fail to make up for their mistakes. A defenseman that could help out the penalty killing would be ideal, but what they really need is a dependable defenseman who can back-check.
The Monday afternoon deadline is almost upon us, but Bowman remains confident that a deal will be be struck before that deadline.