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Blackhawks Postgame Chatter: ‘Seth is a Rock on Defense’

Seth Jones’ Cap Hit catches the eye of most fans. But it’s what he does on the ice, often hidden to the untrained eye, that makes him “a rock.”

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CHICAGO – Seth Jones had an assist in the Blackhawks 3-2 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets Friday night. But it’s the stuff that doesn’t end up on the scoresheet that makes him the valuable player he is for Chicago.

“I think Seth is a rock on defense,” Blackhawks forward Tyler Johnson said. “He plays most minutes, he’s in every situation, battles hard, and he’s a guy that sets a lot of things up that you don’t necessarily see.”

Jones had the primary assist on Colin Blackwell’s goal that cut the Jets lead to 2-1, a quick pass that caught the Jets off guard and sent Blackwell in alone with Connor Hellebuyck to finish it off.

“I just got the puck in the middle there, and Blackie took off,” Jones said of his pass. “That’s what I saw. It was a great play by him.”

Jones Continues to Log Monster Minutes for the Blackhawks

There’s always an argument from some Blackhawks fans that Jones isn’t keeping pace with the cap hit his contract holds. Sure, he has just one goal and now 16 assists on the season, which will clock in lower than what expectations hold for a defenseman making $9.5M per season against the cap.

But he was just 42 seconds short of logging 30 minutes of ice time Friday night, far and away the Blackhawks leader with Alex Vlasic trailing by nearly five minutes. It’s little things on the ice that sets him apart and all but wills head coach Luke Richardson to put him out there.

It was Jones who corraled the puck late as Winnipeg tried to clear, calmed it, and then patiently skated around a sprawling Nik Ehlers, who waved his stick in desperation. Jones went to the side board, drew three Jets to him, and then dished to Jason Dickinson, who waited to Hellebuyck’s left. Dickinson than slid it across the crease to Johnson, who waited alone low and buried the tying goal.

For sure, they’d been working to be better low for six-on-five situations. But that opportunity doesn’t present itself without Jones carefully setting things up in what was a frantic six-second sequence.

It didn’t go the Blackhawks way in the end. But it doesn’t even have a chance of going their way without Jones playing the steady, patient game that often gets taken for granted.

“[He] obviously got rewarded tonight with those assists,” Johnson said.  “But he’s a guy that we really need back there.”

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