Staff Report Cards : Sheldon Brookbank

The Accountant is up next.

All situations
5 on 5 on-ice
5 on 5
CF% rel
GF% rel
ZS% rel
Regular Season 48 2 5 7 12.7 4.2 4.70% -1 51.60% -4.40% 52.40% 0.00% 7.50% 92.90% 100.4 61.70% 6.60% 24.10% 1.00% 10.60% 27.20% 26.00%
Playoffs 7 0 2 2 13.9 1.2 0.00% 1 46.30% -4.60% 71.40% 18.10% 15.20% 95.70% 110.8 63.90% 12.90% 26.20% 0.00% 12.10% 28.10% 27.60%

The Blackhawks got about as much as they could have asked for from Sheldon Brookbank this past season. He is exactly what you want in your 7th defenseman. He is a veteran presence, who is responsible in his own end and will provide some physical play when needed. It was the physical part of his game that had him dressed for all five regular season matchups versus the St. Louis Blues. He only had 20 giveaways in his 48 games which was the lowest giveaway per game ratio of the top seven defensemen. Sure, he had his moments where you screamed "What the hell are you doing?" but name one defensemen who doesn't have those moments.

Brookbank finished the season third on the team in penalty minutes and tied with Brandon Bollig for the team lead in fighting majors with six. The Accountant was never too shy to drop the gloves and throw down with an opponent. I am not against fighting in the game of hockey when it serves a purpose. The players still need to be able to police themselves and stick up for a teammate. It seemed the majority of Brookbank's fights fell under this category. What I am against are the pointless and scripted fights like the battle royal of douce that we saw from Bollig and Paul Bissonette in the 2012 playoffs.

The most frustrating part of Brookbank's season was having to watch him play forward 14 times during the regular season. A team that had Brandon Pirri at their disposal in the first half of the season and Jeremy Morin the whole year should never play Brookbank at forward. This is not something you can be mad at Brookbank for, nor let it affect his grade, because he can only do what is asked by his head coach.

Brookbank had his best moments of the season when he filled in for the suspended Brent Seabrook in Games 3-5 of the opening round of the playoffs against the Blues. He was asked to jump right into the top pairing with Duncan Keith had did about as well as you could expect helping the Blackhawks to victories in all three games. He played solid defense and picked up assists in two of the three games.

I could see Brookbank being brought back for the same type of role next season. If the Blackhawks move one of their veteran defensemen (Oduya, Leddy, Rozsival) he would be a nice insurance policy in case one of the youngsters from Rockford needs more time to develop. Just like every player, when deciding a final grade you have to grade against what was expected of Brookbank at the beginning of the season not against other players at his position.

Final Grade : B-