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Ovi on Campbell: Picking up the Pieces

March 15, 2010

I’m not going into the hit, because for one thing, I have way too biased an opinion on it and I know right now that I’m still seething. For what it’s worth, here is Puck Daddy’s take on both the hit and what the suspension will probably be like, and this is From the Rink’s take on it.

Beyond that, now the Blackhawks have to deal with the aftermath of Ovi’s hit.

What’s the Damage?

  • Tab Bamford at Hendricks Hockey first reported that a “source familiar to the situation” says Campbell’s season is over after suffering “a broken rib, broken collarbone, and a 2nd degree concussion” a few hours after the game ended, around 4:58 pm.
  • Around 9:00 pm, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com then cites league sources and claims that Campbell’s season could be over due to a broken clavicle and ribs.
  • By 10:40 pm, Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune cites a source who says Campbell has “a broken collarbone and is expected to miss at least the end of the regular season.”
  • At 11:28 pm, Tim Sassone says that a source “confirmed late Sunday night that […] Campbell suffered a broken collarbone […] and likely would miss at least the rest of the regular season.”
  • TSN.ca staff reported the same “out for the season” refrain due to a “broken clavicle and ribs” citing ESPN.com for the source of their information.
  • This morning, NHL.com has put the news up on their website, citing multiple media outlets.

The Blackhawks themselves have not come out with any confirmation as to the extent of the injury, and while Chris Kuc’s first article quoted Quenneville saying he “wouldn’t discount the upper-body injury being so severe that it would affect Campbell the rest of the season” that tidbit has since been removed from the article for one reason or another. (But thanks to Katherine215 over at SecondCityHockey.com for catching that.)

What We’re Losing, What We’re Gaining

So we’re left here waiting, and suddenly, find the team placed in an interesting position. The Johnsson-for-Barker trade has never looked so good, but it still doesn’t take into account just what Campbell does for the team in terms of:

  • Helping reduce Seabrook’s and Keith’s minutes down the road for the playoffs
  • Giving the Blackhawks a fast-skating, puck-moving defenseman two-thirds of the time
  • Contributing 24% of offensive output from the Blackhawks’ defense

Johnsson, assuming he’s recovered from whatever it was that had him scratched yesterday, should be coming up to the second pair and take Campbell’s spot. We still haven’t seen enough of him to know what he could bring to the table as a Blackhawk but he logged big minutes in Minnesota and he could do the same for Chicago alongside Hjalmarsson or whoever Quenneville decides to have him skate with. Hendry and Sopel could potentially skate as the third pair, although look for Jassen Cullimore to be called up until the postseason. John of the Fifth Feather points out that Nick Boynton would need to clear re-entry waivers if he is to be called up during the regular season.

But this also means that unless the defense really steps it up, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook will find no relief heading into the grueling postseason. With Keith especially already playing hard minutes during the Olympics, this is definitely a situation we do not want to put him in. Stan Bowman’s depth additions will be tested sooner than expected, however, and we’ll see how they hold up.

Now What?

We have fourteen games left in the regular season. Nine of those 14 will be on the road. For a team that’s had only a bizarre goalie controversy to deal with, despite Chicago being the only team to have both its goalies in the top ten for GAA while staying among the top three teams of the NHL, this could be its first real test. Playing without Hossa, Toews, or Bolland for any period of time during the season has been tough at different levels, but if the Blackhawks had depth in any position it was in its forwards. The Blackhawks’ defense, while generally vaunted, rests on the skills of a few good players, Campbell being an important piece.

This, of course, amid questions surrounding the team’s crumbling defense. If there ever was a big enough wrench that could be thrown into the Hawks’ best-laid postseason plans, this was it. This is either the straw that breaks the camel’s back or the one thing that lights the fire under their asses.

Which is it, Hawks?

Update: Ovechkin is currently in his disciplinary hearing with Colin Campbell. We’ll see what comes of that.  There has been tons of public outcry over this since it was on national tv and everyone now knows the extent of Soupy’s injuries.

Nick Boynton was placed on re-entry waivers today, so assuming he doesn’t get claimed by some other team, he’ll be joining the Hawks as the 7th defenseman.

Update: Ovechkin has been suspended for 2 games, according to Washington Post Caps beat writer Tarik El-Bashir.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. whitsport permalink
    March 15, 2010 12:44 PM

    Wow, I had no idea Campbell’s injury was that bad. As a non-biased party the hit didnt look overly intense, but I guess anything that generates that kind of physical consequence should draw a greater penalty…

    http://whitsport.wordpress.com/2010/03/15/ovechkin-tossed-suspension-looms/

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