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Brookbank expected to take Keith’s spot for Game 4

Sheldon Brookbank

Blackhawks defenseman Sheldon Brookbank will replace suspended Duncan Keith tonight in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals at the Staples Center, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Brookbank has yet to play in the postseason. His last game action came on April 27 in a regular-season contest versus the Blues.

No problem, says Chicago d-man Michal Rozsival.

“I don’t worry about him not being ready,” said Rozsival, per the Sun-Times. “If he’s in, we’ll be fine with him in the lineup.”

Brookbank is likely to see limited action anyway. Making up for Keith’s one-game absence will fall largely on the shoulders of Niklas Hjalmarsson, Brent Seabrook, and Johnny Oduya.

The ‘Hawks will also need a strong game from Nick Leddy, who like Keith is a strong skater who shoots left. In fact, according to, Leddy could jump from the third pairing to take Keith’s spot beside Seabrook.

Whatever the Blackhawks do with their defensive duos, it won’t be easy to replace Keith.

“He eats up a lot of ice,” said forward Patrick Kane. “He’s a guy that’s in great shape. He never gets tired out there. He’s tireless. Especially on the back end with a guy that can move the puck like that, plays in all situations -- power play, penalty kill -- it’s a huge part of this team.”