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2010 NHL Playoffs: Brian Campbell Return Coming Soon?

Tab BamfordSenior Writer IApril 14, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - MARCH 13:  Brian Campbell #51 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wachovia Center on March 13, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The balance of power in the Western Conference may have shifted at the United Center two days before the Blackhawks and Predators play their first playoff game.

Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell, out since breaking a clavicle on March 14, was a full participant at practice on Wednesday.

Campbell, who was injured by a hit that cost Washington superstar Alexander Ovechkin the rest of that game and a two-game suspension, had seven goals and 31 assists in 68 games prior to the injury. The Blackhawks played without both Campbell and Kim Johnsson for the last five weeks of the regular season.

A timetable for Campbell's return has not been announced. The Blackhawks do not play their first playoff game until Friday night.

If Campbell can return for the first round of the playoffs, the roster dynamics for the Blackhawks could swing incredibly.

Campbell is one of the faster skaters in the league, and his puck-moving ability is exceptional. He was having a resurgent season before the injury.

In the wake of the injuries hitting the Blackhawks' blue line, Dustin Byfuglien moved back to defense and has played very well. Bringing Campbell back into the mix would give coach Joel Quenneville more options on his talented roster.

UPDATE: After practice, Quenneville said he hopes that Campbell can return at some point during the first round series with Nashville. Campbell will travel with the team to Nashville.

For more great coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, check out Tab's blog: CommittedIndians.com!

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