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Seth Jones on Arvid Soderblom: ‘He's working his ass off'

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Since winning four of their first six games of the season, the Blackhawks fell to 3-13-1 over their last 17 games following a 3-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets at the United Center on Friday. They're in the basement of the NHL, where they were expected to be.

Arvid Soderblom has been a bright spot this season, stepping up in the absence of Petr Mrazek and Alex Stalock, both of whom are dealing with injuries. But the 23-year-old rookie goaltender doesn't have much to show for it.

Despite turning aside 29 shots on Friday, Soderblom suffered his eighth regulation loss of the season and 10th total. He has only two wins this season, his last one coming on Nov. 12 in a 3-2 victory over Anaheim. That was almost a month ago.

At some point, the Blackhawks need to get him some wins so his confidence doesn't take a hit.

"He's working his ass off in there right now and making backdoor saves left and right," Seth Jones said. "We're obviously giving up too many chances. ... We've got to do a little bit of a better job."

Soderblom has a .906 save percentage this season, which is actually right around the league average. He's faced some higher-quality shots though as of late, with 12 of the 32 shots he faced against Winnipeg coming from high-danger areas.

The other part of the equation is, the Blackhawks are struggling to score goals. They've found the back of the net just once over Soderblom's last three starts, which won't get the job done no matter who's in the net.

"We've got to give him some more goal support so he can really excel in the win column because he deserves it," Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson said. "He's really played well for us. He doesn't seem fazed, he just goes and does his job, so I think all of us have to take a page out of his book. He shows up every night and does his job."

Soderblom doesn't seem to be too affected by the losses from a confidence level standpoint. Still, the Blackhawks are sending him positive reinforcement any chance they get.

"Of course, of course," Jones said. "He's part of this team and he's a guy that's never going to complain or show his emotion. He's a pretty low-key guy, you're not going to get a lot out of him but that's what is good about him. He's even-keel to the good and the bad. We always give him pats on the back and things like that when necessary."

The good news is, the Blackhawks are slowly starting to get healthy between the pipes.

Alex Stalock has been out since Nov. 1 with a concussion but practiced on Thursday and Friday and could return in the near future, although his timeline remains unclear. Petr Mrazek appears to be ahead of Stalock after already returning to the ice despite suffering his second groin injury of the season on Saturday. 

That bodes well for the Blackhawks because once their two NHL goaltenders are healthy again (and at the same time), Soderblom can return to Rockford, where he can handle a starter's workload in a much better situation.

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