Brent Seabrook didn’t see his game-winner go in
BY MARK POTASH email@example.com May 30, 2013 12:06AM
Updated: July 2, 2013 7:24AM
Brent Seabrook was just trying to get off the ice. The next thing he knew he was mobbed by teammates, dragged and punched to the ice in a wild celebration. That’s playoff hockey.
‘‘I didn’t realize how much room I had,’’ said Seabrook, who saw the ice open up for him as he skated into the Red Wings’ zone and fired a wrist shot past Jimmy Howard for an overtime goal that gave the Blackhawks a 2-1 victory in Game 7 of their Western Conference semifinal series Wednesday night at the United Center. ‘‘[Niklas] Kronwall, he’s a great defenseman. He tried to block it. I just wanted to get it past him and on net so I could change. Luckily it went in.’’
The game-winner culminated a week of redemption for Seabrook, who was beaten for a key goal in a Game 3 loss and limited to 12:03 of ice time in a 2-0 loss in Game 4. Reunited with Duncan Keith in Game 5, Seabrook responded with three solid games — all of them Blackhawks victories — and made coach Joel Quenneville look like a genius when he did as he was told, put the puck on the net and struck gold.
‘‘I’m a defenseman. So when I have that much room I usually screw up or trip or fall or something like that,’’ Seabrook said. ‘‘But Q harps on it all the time — put pucks on the net. Anything can happen.
‘‘I think it went off Kronwell a little bit, changed direction a little bit. I don’t know. I just tried to get it on net, get it past Kronwell. I didn’t want to get it blocked.’’
Center Dave Bolland ignited the game-winning play with a hit on Gustav Nyquist along the boards that freed the puck for Seabrook. As Seabrook skated in, the Red Wings’ defense retreated, giving Seabrook enough room to shoot.
‘‘I don’t even know if I saw it go in, to be honest,’’ Seabrook said. ‘‘I just heard the horn going and the boys jumping out. It was a pretty exhausting game. But I was more tired during the celebration, from all the guys jumping and punching me in the face and dragging me down and pulling my head down.
‘‘But it’s exciting. You don’t get to do that too many times. It’ll be something I remember for the rest of my life.’’