HAWKS IN BRIEF: Consistent Seabrook happy at work
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org
CALGARY, Alberta -- Defenseman Brent Seabrook is pleased with where he's at. He's on the first power-play unit, the first penalty-kill unit and paired with Niklas Hjalmarsson.
''I'm happy with my game,'' Seabrook said before the game Friday against the Calgary Flames. ''I'm trying to be as consistent as I can and just trying to be smart with the puck and keeping it out of our net."
Seabrook has been one of the more consistent Hawks. While others have had their ups and downs, he has done what he always has done: block shots, deliver hits and get the puck out of the zone.
''My mentality is just to do my job and try to be solid defensively,'' Seabrook said. ''I feel like I'm getting ready the same way and being consistent.''
When the Hawks' productive power play hit a rough patch, Seabrook was moved to the first power-play unit with Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.
''As a puck-mover, the guys that I'm out there with, those four guys are pretty skilled,'' Seabrook said. ''If I get them the puck, they're going to do something special with it. That's what I've been trying to do."
Coach Joel Quenneville has been happy with Seabrook.
''[Seabrook] has been all right,'' Quenneville said. ''Him and [Hjalmarsson] have been effective, as well. Whether he's getting points or not, you know he's a physical guy that makes an impact defensively. He's hard to play against."
Kane doesn't feel -- or look -- old, but he does feel like an NHL veteran these days, especially after the Hawks' Stanley Cup run. Kane celebrated his 22nd birthday Friday in Calgary.
''Overall, I think I'm still the same player, just growing in confidence and learning the game more,'' Kane said. ''You learn the off-ice issues, too, more as you grow older, whether it's taking care of yourself or learning the schedule or different things. This is a trip I struggled with my first year. You learn things from that.
''My first two years I was really treated as a young buck. Eighteen, 19, 20 years old, you're still not able to do much. With turning 21 and 22, around that age comes responsibility. You have to make sure you're doing the right things and staying out of trouble.''
Kane, who as of Friday wasn't the victim of any birthday pranks, said he has grown up fast.
''Being in the NHL, you grow up even faster because you're around guys that have been through it and that are mature and have been there pretty much their whole lives and know what to do at this level,'' Kane said. ''You learn from different people, and it helps you mature even faster.''
Sharp had to answer a lot of questions about his goal production when he went cold after a blistering streak of nine goals in an eight-game stretch. He never let them get to his head.
''It always hangs over your head when you hear people asking about it and it's a topic of conversation,'' Sharp said.
''As a player, the more you dwell on those kinds of things, the worse off you're going to be.''
Sharp's first-period assist on a power play in the 5-0 victory Wednesday against the Edmonton Oilers was his 250th point with the Hawks.
Defensemen Jordan Hendry and John Scott were healthy scratches again as Quenneville appears to have settled on his defensive pairings and line combinations for the time being.
*Goalie Marty Turco became the 53rd goalie in league history to reach the 30,000-minute plateau.
*Today is the three-year anniversary of John McDonough taking over as president of the Hawks.
TONIGHT: BLACKHAWKS AT CANUCKS