NASHVILLE – Brian Campbell could be a healthy scratch, snapping a 423-game regular-season playing streak, when the Blackhawks face the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.
Coach Joel Quenneville said on Wednesday that he wanted to get Michal Kempny and Michal Rozsival back in the lineup; both have been healthy scratches for some time now. On Thursday morning he said one of those scratches could be Campbell. The 37-year-old defenseman hasn’t missed a regular-season game since March of 2011, when he was coming off a foot injury.
Campbell got off to a slow start this season, as he moved to the right side when he was paired with Gustav Forsling. He was almost a healthy scratch in October but ultimately kept his regular-season playing streak intact. At that time, Campbell talked about readjusting to the right.
“I know it should be natural and it comes and I’m obviously getting used to that so it’s just different things. You’re not as open to the ice, but you have to find a way,” Campbell said then. “I felt good last game. Felt like even last game might’ve been one of my better games, but I just have to keep working hard. That’s all I’ve ever done in my career.”
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
Quenneville said several factors could play into Campbell’s scratch.
“He started all right, then he played very well. The stretch recently wasn’t as good,” Quenneville said. “With eight guys, bounce around, back-to-back games and a big stretch where those guys [Kempny and Rozsival] have been out is all part of it as well.”
As much as it would be disappointing for Campbell to end his streak it may not be a bad idea for the long haul. If the Blackhawks go on any kind of a postseason run, they’re not going to want their veterans worn down.
“With eight defensemen, we always have tough decisions and we have to sit out two at a time. The guys who were out were probably out a little too long,” Quenneville said. “[Campbell] is part of a group that, 82 games, with might not be able to play them all.”
The Predators will be without P.K. Subban, who will miss the team’s final two games of 2016 with an upper-body injury.
Time: 7 p.m.
Live Stream: CSNChicago.com
Blackhawks forward lines
Ryan Hartman-Jonathan Toews-Tyler Motte
Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane
Dennis Rasmussen-Marcus Kruger-Richard Panik
Vinnie Hinostroza-Tanner Kero-Jordin Tootoo
Duncan Keith-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook
Gustav Forsling-Michal Rozsival
Marian Hossa (upper body)
Predators forward lines (via The Tennessean)
Filip Forsberg-Ryan Johansen-Viktor Arvidson
Colin Wilson-Mike Fisher-Austin Watson
Kevin Fiala-Mike Ribeiro-James Neal
Reid Boucher-Calle Jarnknok-Craig Smith
Roman Josi-Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm-Matt Irwin
Yannick Weber-Petter Granberg
P.K. Subban (upper body), Anthony Bitetto (broken hand), Miikka Salomaki (upper body)