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Duncan Keith is the leader of the Hawks' defense, but he did not play to his potential last season.
Much like last season, this season the Hawks could be seeing some more struggles on the defensive side of the puck. The defensive unit allowed their goalies to face a lot of shots last season. They allowed a little over 300 shots more than they did in the 2009-10 season.
Duncan Keith did not have one of his best seasons last year. He also does not seem to be getting back to his usual "top flight" motivation. Keith has a lot of potential which is why he has that 'A' on his jersey. Whether or not Keith can live up to his 2009-10 season is a question that still needs to be answered after a disappointing year last year.
The losses of Brian Campbell and Chris Campoli could also be a huge hole that the Hawks have not quite filled. Brian Campbell is very good with moving the puck and finding ways to create scoring chances for his offense; Campoli is a young defenseman who is just starting to find his potential. Chicago has a big void to fill in losing these two defenders and they have not made the right moves defensively to fill them.
Nick Leddy—due to his youth and inexperience—could be another reason why the Blackhawks struggle defensively. Leddy had great numbers in the AHL and did not do too badly when brought up to the NHL, but with Leddy being so young and the Hawks trying to use him too quickly, Nick Leddy could cause some problems defensively.
Although the Hawks signed defenseman Steve Montador, if Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson are not at their full potential, Chicago will struggle defensively and they will also have issues with turnovers and moving the puck out of the zone. Montador is not a bad defender, but he is not that "missing piece" that Chicago is looking for to solve their defensive woes.