Ehrhoff trying to earn a spot
The Blackhawks are defenseman Christian Ehrhoff’s fourth NHL team in less than two years and his sixth overall. But just because he’s used to adapting to a new team’s style, systems and staff, that doesn’t make it any easier.
“No, it doesn’t really get easier,” he said. “It’s the same thing. You’ve got to know the guys and the staff, and it takes a little while. But this is a great team and a great group of guys, and they made me feel welcome from the start.”
So far, the transition has been pretty smooth, as Ehrhoff played well in his first two games with the Hawks. But he hardly has a spot in the lineup locked up, and he was a healthy scratch Sunday against the Red Wings as coach Joel Quenneville put Michal Rozsival back in. Ehrhoff is competing with Rozsival and possibly Erik Gustafsson for a regular spot in the lineup when the playoffs begin in about amonth.
Ehrhoff played alongside Trevor van Riemsdyk in road games against the Red Wings and Bruins, and he wasn’t hesitant to showoff the offensive skills that made him a premier player for the Sharks and Canucks. He had seven shots on goal in the two games and had an assist in the loss to the Bruins.
The 33- year- old German didn’t work out in Los Angeles this season but feels he’s a better fit in Chicago.
“The system, I think, is complementary tomy game,” Ehrhoff said. “I just went out there and played the first couple of games, and it was a good start for me.”
Many players, particularly centers and defensemen, have struggled early on with the Hawks’ quick- thinking, puck- moving style. But Ehrhoff thinks he’ll get the hang of it quickly. With less than five weeks to win over Quenneville, he’ll need to.
“The system is definitely different, and there are things that I have to adjust to and pick up along the way,” he said. “It’ll be a work in progress, but that’ll come along the way.”
Veteran defenseman Christian Ehrhoff says the Blackhawks’ system is complementary to his game.