ST. LOUIS — Brent Seabrook has been there before, felled by a hit that left him hurting and dazed. He said he didn’t feel good about inflicting that same feeling on St. Louis Blues forward David Backes.
The hit was there nonetheless, and it looked to be to Backes’ head. And if so, Seabrook may be missing some time.
Seabrook hoped Backes is all right, but the Blackhawks defenseman may be sidelined himself after his high hit on the Blues captain in the Blackhawks’ 4-3 overtime loss to St. Louis on Saturday. The hit earned Seabrook a five-minute charging penalty, as well as a 10-minute game misconduct. The Blackhawks just about killed off the penalty, but Vladimir Tarasenko scored with 6.8 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game 3-3.
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Replays showed Seabrook’s arm/elbow came up and hit Backes in the face. Backes appeared dazed afterward, falling to one knee after he initially tried to get up. The Blues captain left the game and did not return.
For Seabrook, there was remorse.
“I feel bad seeing a guy like that on the ice. I’ve been there myself,” said Seabrook, who was leveled by former teammate James Wisniewski back in 2010. “I’m not trying to target his head, I’m not trying to do anything like that. It doesn’t feel good to see a player like that lying there like that and whatnot, and knowing that I hit him. It wasn’t my intent. I thought it was a hit; it’s a physical series. Hits have been laid like that from both sides the whole series. We’ll see what happens.”
Asked how Backes was doing afterward, Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said, “How do you think he is? Not great.” Hitchcock was actually more incensed by another hit – Bryan Bickell’s knee-to-knee contact with Vladimir Sobotka.
“That was a break of a lifetime to see him still being able to play and skate,” Hitchcock said of Sobotka. “Hopefully he’s OK tomorrow and he’s able to skate. That’s the one that concerns me.”
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Several of his Blackhawks teammates didn’t want to comment on the Seabrook hit. Nor did coach Joel Quenneville, who said he hadn’t had a chance to analyze it. Corey Crawford watched it on the video board.
“It was hard to tell in slow motion. It looked like he slipped or fell as Seabs went to hit him but they called it, that’s fine,” Crawford said. “Their guy comes flying in, throws his gloves off and starts throwing punches. Maybe give him one. But whatever; we didn’t get a call.”
Whether or not Seabrook gets a call from the league office remains to be seen. As of Saturday evening, no hearings were set for either Seabrook or Bickell. The Blackhawks are already down 0-2 in this best-of-seven series with the Blues. They could be minus a top defenseman, too.
“I don’t know what happened. I looked around, the refs didn’t have their arm up for a penalty. That’s when I saw David sitting there and its tough to see that,” Seabrook said. “But, you know, I don’t know really what else to tell you. I hope Backes is feeling all right and I hope he’s doing OK. I guess that’s all I can say.”