So, we lose our best defenceman, a guy who plays both ends like it's going out of style, a mighty mouse who keeps his finger in the dyke of Dustin Byfuglien's defence. You'll all remember how he got hurt, of course, not because it showed up in the scoresheet, but because apparently it happened on a perfectly legal play.
Oh well, no big deal, he'll just miss a few games with an UBI (or as I call it, an oobie), and then he comes back and all is well. Then, this morning, we learned that he might be out for a month. Double eep. So what have we done? What should we do?
The band-aid solution right now is to call up Mark Flood and Brett Festerling, as both Ron Hainsey and Mark Stuart are nursing their own oobies (haha). Supposedly, Hainsey isn't too far from his return, and it sounds like Stu's is minor too, so it looks like we have a pair of little oobies.
So, I submit for the audience, the lines I envision:
Ron Hainsey -- Dustin Byfuglien
Mark Stuart -- Zach Bogosian
Randy Jones -- Johnny Oduya
Hainsey is kind of a poor man's Tobias Enstrom, only if a poor man was able to get something bigger than a rich man...whatever, okay it's a bad analogy. Moving on...
These pairings don't scare me as much as I initially thought, if only because the Raja-Oduya pairing hasn't been terrible, Bogo Stew has been pretty solid, and as I mentioned before Hainsey isn't a disastrous replacement. My hope is they reduce Bustin's even-strength minutes a bit to give the better defensive pairings more time. That's a perfect world scenario, I guess, but we can always hope.
Regardless, don't expect the defence to get any better soon. Or, as the glass-half-full crowd would say, let's get ready for some exciting hockey!