CHICAGO IS experiencing a touch of old-time hockey, when marathon men logged big minutes in the playoffs. This postseason, few have had heavier workloads than the Blackhawks' top four defensemen—Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya, each of whom is averaging more than 25 minutes a game.
What has made that workload extra tough is the Ducks' deep and physically imposing attack, led by 6'4" center Ryan Getzlaf and 6'3" wing Corey Perry. Trying to shelter his bottom two blueliners, Chicago coach Joel Quenneville has leaned particularly hard on his top pair, even splitting Keith and Seabrook up after Game 1. In the 261:59 played in Games 2, 3 and 4, the Blackhawks had either Keith or Seabrook on the ice for 183:18—or 70% of the time. With the series tied 2--2, Quenneville has minimized the fatigue factor, but Chicago's top four D-men have averaged 17 more minutes than Anaheim's. The Hawks' foursome was a combined -6 while the Ducks' was +5.
THEY SAID IT
"A lot of my timeline is still filled with Americans who can't spell."
British political journalist commenting on Twitter about the deluge of NFL fans who have been mistakenly sounding off about Deflategate on his feed.