Hawks' lineup thinned as Duncan Keith and Andrew Shaw are placed on the IR

The Blackhawks confirmed that the two veterans will be out long term

Hawks' lineup thinned as Duncan Keith and Andrew Shaw are placed on the IR

Despite a great win against the Boston Bruins yesterday, things aren't necessarily going well for the Blackhawks. They currently sit at the bottom of the Central Division with a record of 11-12-5 and 27 points. The Hawks are in the awkward phase of a rebuild with great young players pushing through the ranks and their older core players slowly but surely slowing down. 

That being said, Chicago relies on their veterans to log in valuable minutes and to mentor their young guns. Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, two of their key veteran players were injured last weekend. Duncan Keith suffered a groin injury in the first of the two back-to-back games against the Colorado Avalanche on Friday. Andrew Shaw likely was concussed on Saturday against the Avs.

Both players have missed action since they were initially injured. Today, the Chicago Blackhawks officially announced the both Keith and Shaw were placed on the Injury Reserve.

That means that the Hawks will be without the services of Duncan Keith and Andrew Shaw for an extended period of time. Their absence significantly thins out the Hawks' lineup and affects their depth. Brent Seabrook who is struggling this season will most likely have to step in for Duncan Keith on Chicago's first defensive pair. Dominik Kubalik and Ryan Carpenter are looking like likely candidates to take Shaw's role.

The Blackhawks are set to face the Devils this evening in New Jersey. Let's see how they continue to cope with Duncan Keith and Andrew Shaw's absence. They will be looking to get a second win in 24 hours and to continue their momentum.