Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook (not) ready but willing for faceoffs


Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook handles the puck during a game against the Dallas Stars at the United Center on March 23, 2017. (Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)

Sometimes during a Blackhawks practice, Brent Seabrook will goof around and jump into the faceoff circle and take some draws against teammates.

The veteran defenseman certainly didn’t anticipate having to take a faceoff during an actual game but that is the situation in which he found himself during the Hawks’ overtime loss to the Lightning on Monday night. Seabrook was on the ice in the three-on-three session when the linesman tossed center Marcus Kruger. That left the faceoff duty to fall to Seabrook or Duncan Keith.

Up stepped Seabrook to attempt the fourth faceoff of his 12-year career and first since the 2007-08 season, according to the NHL. He lost it to Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin, dropping his career record in the circle to 1-3 — including when Seabrook went 1-for-2 in the 2006-07 season.

"I was trying to get ready but the ref dropped the puck so fast with the new quick faceoffs," Seabrook said before the Hawks played the Penguins Wednesday night at PPG Paints Arena. "Back when I took them in ’06-07 it wasn’t as fast and I had a second to gather my thoughts."

Hawks defensemen don’t practice faceoffs so there is no preparing for a situation like the one Monday.

"I played center when I was 13 or 14 so that’s the preparation I have for taking a faceoff," Seabrook said. "I didn’t even know what was going on. I thought they’d give (Kruger) another chance and then all of a sudden the ref said, ‘OK.’ So I went in there and took it."

Coach Joel Quenneville got a kick out of the Seabrook faceoff talk.

"A lot of things happen that you’ve never seen before and that was one of them," Quenneville said.

So will Hawks defenseman start practicing their draws?

"That’s one that we don’t have to worry about too much," Quenneville said with a smile. "I think everybody has seen enough of them, they kind of know what to do."

Back in: After being benched by Quenneville for the Lightning game for taking two ill-advised penalties two nights earlier, Ryan Hartman returned to the lineup against the Penguins.

"No one likes to sit out games," Hartman said. "It’s definitely something that I took to heart. I’m just going to try to play like I’ve been playing, get on the score sheet (but) stay off it for the wrong reasons."