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The Chicago Blackhawks defenseman is out for 3-4 weeks

Chicago Blackhawks guard Seth Jones was ruled out of Sunday night’s game against the Minnesota Wild and could miss three to four weeks with a right thumb injury.

The development is a major setback for the Hawks’ defense and power play.

“Yeah, it’s a big blow to our team,” coach Luke Richardson said before Sunday’s game at the United Center. “I’m sorry for him. He played well and obviously played a lot.

“Hopefully it’s not too long and we’re just going to try to shake things up a little bit, especially on special teams. He’s playing a lot of big minutes for us and against the top lines, so we’re just going to have to shuffle the deck a little bit, try to buy some time and win the defensive committee and wait for him to come back.”

Richardson said the injury occurred when Jones blocked a shot during the second period The Hawks lost to the Buffalo Sabers 4-3 in overtime on Saturday.

“The adrenaline carries you through the game, then you start to cool down and things start to build up,” Richardson said. “It hurt, they took a picture of it and that’s where we are now.”

Jones usually leads the right side of the top defensive pairing and commands the first power unit.

He is also a minute monster, averaging 25 minutes, 12 seconds of ice time. Connor Murphy is next among Hawks defensemen with 19:38.

On the power play, only Patrick Kane (4:02) has more minutes than Jones (3:45)

“Everybody’s going to spread out a little bit more,” Richardson said. “I don’t think there’s a guy that’s likely to carry the load like Seth, and we don’t expect them to. We expect them to do their job and if they get a couple more minutes here and there … they’re going to be excited about it and we just need them to execute.”

Jones has been encouraged by the coaches to shoot more this season, and he has seen a slight increase in shots per game (2.75) compared to last season (2.49).

Jones has seven shots on goal and nine shot attempts while shooting a career-high 77.8%.

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Caleb Jones will take over his brother’s role on the power play and has as many assists (four) as Seth. Philip Roos also entered the lineup on Sunday and will be the second unit defender.

Here’s how the Hawks defensive pairings and power play with Seth Jones looked against the Sabres:

  • D1: Jake McCabe-Seth Jones
  • D2: Jared Tinordi-Connor Murphy
  • D3: Jack Johnson-Caleb Jones
  • PP1: Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Max Domi, Taylor Radish, Seth Jones
  • PP2: Jason Dickinson, Andreas Athanasiou, Philip Kurashov, Mackenzie Entwistle, Caleb Jones

Here’s how they might look against the Wild, though that could change during warmups:

  • D1: McCabe-Johnson
  • D2: Tinordi-Murphy
  • D3: Caleb Jones-Philip Roos
  • PP1: Kane, Toews, Domi, Ruddish, Caleb Jones
  • PP2: Dickinson, Afanasiou, Kurashov, Entwistle, Rus

“(Defensive assistant coach) Kevin (Dean) is going to have to shuffle around a little bit, depending on the lines and when their top line is today, especially,” Richardson said.

As for the power play, he said, “If the game is late or something like that, we might have to put five hitters on the power play if we don’t get a lot of production early to push the envelope a little bit, but hopefully that we will not go there today.”

In other injury news: Goaltender Piotr Mrazek (groin) skated with the team on Sunday.

“They’ll see how he feels after today and pull him up,” Richardson said.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/blackhawks/ct-chicago-blackhawks-seth-jones-injury-20221030-oxtdlnw2cnbovp4sa23432xh6u-story.html#ed=rss_www.chicagotribune.com/arcio/rss/category/sports/

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