Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Blackhawks' concussion protocol questioned

Categories: Chicago Blackhawks, VAN vs. CHI, Vancouver Canucks

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Chicago's Brent Seabrook continued to play in Game 3 after absorbing a punishing hit from Raffi Torres. (Claus Andersen/Getty Images) Chicago's Brent Seabrook continued to play in Game 3 after absorbing a punishing hit from Raffi Torres. (Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Dave Bolland is in and Brent Seabrook is out as the Blackhawks try to avoid being swept out of the playoffs in Game 4 Tuesday night in Chicago (CBC,, 8 p.m. ET).

Bolland has been out with a concussion since March 9 and admitted last week he was still suffering post-concussion symptoms. He did not skate Tuesday but head coach Joel Quenneville said he's been ready for "a while."

Seabrook continued to play in Game 3 after absorbing a punishing Raffi Torres hit. Both situations have raised questions about the Blackhawks' concussion protocol.

Asked if it was regrettable that Seabrook continued to play in Game 3, Quenneville said: "He wanted to play."

Seabrook said Monday: "I wanted to play. It's the playoffs and we're all playing through bumps and bruises and I wanted to get back there. I feel good."

Seabrook had concussion tests Tuesday morning before it was determined he wouldn't play.

The Hawks defence has taken a pounding in the first three games.

"It's going to put even more pressure on their D-men [without Seabrook]," Vancouver's Alex Burrows said. "He obviously plays a lot of minutes and we want to get in on their defence and play physical. He's one of the top D-men in the league and if we don't have to face him every shift, it might make it easier."

Chicago not expected to go quietly

The Hawks have lost four straight meaningful games going back to the end of the regular season. It doesn't mean they aren't dangerous.

The Canucks are trying not to overlook them. In Vancouver's locker room Tuesday was this quote: "The hardest thing to do to a hockey player is take the stick out his hand."

"I thought that was a very fitting quote on the board for today," Vancouver forward Tanner Glass said. "Those guys have a lot of pride over there. And they love the game. They lose tonight and they move on to the off-season. You never want that."

When asked about potentially losing four straight, Chicago captain Jonathan Toews said: "What are you going to do about? We've tried our best to win those games, including the [regular season-ending] game against Detroit and we didn't do that. But we're still here, and we're still playing. There's still a chance."

Calder snub?

There was some surprise among the Blackhawks that rookie goalie Corey Crawford was not one of the finalists for the Calder Trophy. Tuesday night would be a great time for him to respond with his play.

Crawford has been outplayed throughout the series by Roberto Luongo, thought that's a tough comparison for any rookie.

"I've been pretty good, but I need to be better for us to win," said Crawford, who has a 3.09 GAA and an .895 saves percentage. "Everyone is just worried about themselves in this room and just worried about their own games. If we do that. we'll be fine.

We believe we can do it and we're not thinking about losing -- we're thinking about winning."

Marty Turco, Crawford's backup, was one of the players who thought Crawford should have made the final three in the Calder voting.

"I am surprised," Turco said. "Look at his season [33 wins] and the circumstances he was in. I'm biased to him and the position and what he has meant to this team to get into the playoffs and give us confidence on a nightly basis."