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Soderblom not worried about losing his confidence

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The Blackhawks felt it was important to have two veteran goaltenders for the 2022-23 season, especially in Year 1 of a rebuild. The roster was stripped almost to the bare bones over the offseason and was expected to give up a lot of high-quality chances, so it wasn't going to be an ideal situation to develop a prospect at the NHL level.

The Blackhawks are very high on Arvid Soderblom, and they wanted him to be The Guy for at least another year in Rockford, where he was one of the best goaltenders in the AHL last season. It would serve as an opportunity for him to hone his craft even more, in a more controlled and structured environment. Just look at how beneficial that was for Corey Crawford, who spent five seasons in the AHL before becoming a full-time NHL starter at the age of 26.

What the Blackhawks probably weren't expecting was for Petr Mrazek and Alex Stalock, the two veteran netminders they added over the summer, to be out at the same time, and most certainly not this early. Mrazek has already been out on two separate occasions this season with groin injuries while Stalock hasn't played since Nov. 1 with a concussion.

The silver lining is, Soderblom has been a real bright spot as the starter with those two guys out. And he's playing a lot, which is important as well. The problem is, he doesn't have much to show for it in the win column.

Soderblom's last win came on Nov. 12 in a 3-2 win over Anaheim. That was more than a month ago. He's doing a good job though of keeping a positive attitude despite the losses piling up.

"I try to stay confident, even though it's been a couple of losses here in a row," Soderblom told NBC Sports Chicago. "I feel like I've been playing pretty good. I try to just focus on the things I can control and play my best. The last couple of games, we've struggled a little bit offensively but I just try to stay confident and do my thing as I've done all year and just try to go out there and do the same thing every night and be solid and reliable for the guys.

"You want to give them a chance to win, even though we're struggling a little bit. Just try to keep going the same way I've been doing."

After Friday's 3-1 loss to Winnipeg, Seth Jones said it's been tough not being able to get Soderblom some wins, just for his confidence. Soderblom's save percentage of .906 in 13 appearances is just above the league average but he has only two wins this season.

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

I asked Soderblom whether the losses stacking can affect a goaltender's confidence, even if he knows he's playing well. He doesn't seem too concerned about it, which is a great trait to have if you're a young goaltender in this league. Heck, any goaltender for that matter.

"Yeah, it might be, but I just try to focus on the things I can control," Soderblom said. "I can't control how we're doing offensively or how we're scoring or if we're winning or losing, I can only control my game and what I'm doing between the pipes, so I just try to have that mindset.

"Just focus on my job and then if I do that for a long time, the wins will come and all that, so I try not to get frustrated even though it sucks to lose. You always want to win when you're out there, so of course it's frustrating from time to time, but I just try to be happy that I'm here and I get all these opportunities to play and have fun. It's only a game, even though you always want to win, just try to have fun with it as well."

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