With the season now over after a return to the playoffs and the Western Conference Finals, we're looking back at each player who wore the Indian Head sweater for the 08-09 Season and grading their performance. Next up, Brent Seabrook.
#7 / Defenseman / Chicago Blackhawks
Apr 20, 1985
Contract Status: Signed thru '10-'11
Cap Hit: 3.5 Million
|2008 - Brent Seabrook||82||8||18||26||23||62||3||1||1||0||132||6.1|
The Good: Count Seabrook as one of the many big surprises of this year. We knew he was good but more than a few people thought he was overrated. The most common criticism being that playing alongside Keith made him look better than he actually was - which is a fair enough assessment (though hard to actually prove).
Until this year that is.
Biscuit focused much more on being a shutdown defender this year - his points dropped to his lowest levels in his NHL career (only 18) but his +/- jumped up to 23 (13 being his previous high from last year). Of all defenders in the NHL, only Lidstrom played against higher quality of competition for the year (according to Behind The Net). Despite being out there against the best other teams could offer Seabrook also had one of the best CORSI ratings of any blue liner.
Seabrook suddenly became a machine right when the Hawks needed him most. On Jan. 14th - Keith suffered a concussion after being nailed by Drew Stafford's elbow and Seabrook suddenly realized that he is more than capable of hitting anything that comes close to him and that it's very hard for most people to play the puck when they're laying flat on the ice. Seabrook lead the team with 224 recorded hits, which is 57 more than his previous high. Only Brooks "Free Candy" Orpik had more for a defender this year.
Seabrook was also good enough to put up big numbers for Mirtle's fictional Rod Langway award potentially awarded to the best defensive defenseman - I still say he was robbed on not getting this make-believe award.
The Bad: There isn't much here. Seabrook can still get lost and get caught out of position at times. He'll struggle against quicker forwards entering the zone or down low - Keith can bail him out occasionaly due to his speed but it's something Seabrook should work on.
He was also tied for the most interference calls in the league - but who knows how many of those were "good" penalties?
Nicknames: Seabs, Biscuit
Playoff Beard Strenght: Pretty high. Biscuit definitely had one of the better beards on the team but almost more importantly this is the look he's currently rocking - I guess he's not quite ready to let go of the facial hair... that or he lost a bet.
via farm4.static.flickr.com (mjthor) - and still no explanation on those stupid wigs
The Grade: While this is ultimately up to all of you - I certainly have no problem giving Biscuit the first A of our season reviews.