Share with your Friends

Posted On Saturday, 05.23.2015 / 2:48 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - Ducks-Blackhawks series blog

Blackhawks' Cumiskey excited to be playing

CHICAGO -- Kyle Cumiskey might not be playing big minutes for the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final, but the fact he's in the lineup at all should be considered an accomplishment for the 28-year old defenseman.

After spending parts of five seasons with the Colorado Avalanche, he didn't play in the NHL for three seasons before latching on with the Blackhawks in training camp this season. He played 2011-12 in the American Hockey League with the Syracuse Crunch and spent the next two seasons with Modo Hockey in the Swedish Hockey League.

He played seven games in the regular season with the Blackhawks and spent most of the schedule with the AHL's Rockford IceHogs. Recalled as a depth defenseman prior to the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he's now in the starting lineup after a season-ending injury to veteran Michal Rozsival (ankle).

"It's a little bit surreal, I guess you could say," said Cumiskey, who will play in his third straight game in Game 4 of against the Anaheim Ducks at United Center on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports). "A couple months ago, I was playing down in the AHL, and I was maybe hoping to get a few more AHL games, just in the regular season or something. But I end up playing in a big series like this. It's really exciting and I'm very happy about it, obviously."

Posted On Saturday, 05.23.2015 / 2:02 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - Ducks-Blackhawks series blog

Vermette, Teravainen likely back in for Blackhawks

CHICAGO -- Based on line rushes from the morning skate, the Chicago Blackhawks will go back to the forward lines they used in the first two games of the Western Conference Final against the Anaheim Ducks for Game 4 at United Center on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

Antoine Vermette will return to his spot at center of the third line, rookie forward Teuvo Teravainen will play right wing on that line, and forward Andrew Shaw will head back to right wing on the fourth line. Leaving the lineup after playing in Chicago’s 2-1 loss in Game 3 are forwards Kris Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom.

Anaheim leads the best-of-7 series 2-1.

Vermette was most outspoken about coach Joel Quenneville’s decision to sit him for Game 3 but Saturday said his focus now is only on the game at hand.

“It’s a tough position,” Vermette said. “It’s not easy [being scratched], but I’ve got to move on and that’s behind us. I’ve got to be ready for tonight.”

Posted On Friday, 05.22.2015 / 4:13 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - Ducks-Blackhawks series blog

Blackhawks could make lineup changes for Game 4

CHICAGO – Antoine Vermette kept his comments brief, but they were straight to the point when meeting with reporters after a light practice for the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Friday.

A day after being a surprise healthy scratch in the Blackhawks' 2-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final, the veteran two-way center was not happy. Vermette, who was acquired at the NHL Trade Deadline from the Arizona Coyotes, had played 10 straight games in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs after being scratched for the first two games of the Western Conference First Round.

Vermette played 21:14 in Chicago's 3-2 win in triple overtime of Game 2 at Honda Center on Tuesday, taking three shots on goal and being credited with four hits and two blocked shots. He won eight of 20 faceoffs after coming into the game with a success rate of 62.9 percent.

"I thought I had a good game," said Vermette, who had been playing the role of third line center. "I was playing well there, so obviously it came as a surprise and a disappointment. I'm not going to lie. I was not happy with that, but my job is to be ready whenever I have a chance to be in the lineup, and that's what I'm going to do."

Posted On Friday, 05.22.2015 / 4:02 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - Ducks-Blackhawks series blog

Van Riemsdyk recalled by Blackhawks from AHL

CHICAGO -- It's been a challenging season for Chicago Blackhawks rookie defensemen Trevor van Riemsdyk, but it might have a positive conclusion.

The Blackhawks recalled van Riemsdyk, 23, on Friday from Rockford of the American Hockey League after he was cleared to return from the second of two major injuries.

The most recent was a right wrist injury that required surgery April 7, and happened with Rockford after van Riemsdyk had returned from a three-month absence following surgery to repair a fractured patella in his left knee. The on-ice work van Riemsdyk did Friday with a small group of teammates was his first time skating since the second surgery.

"We'll see," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Friday when asked when van Riemsdyk could play. "I know the timeline to get him on the ice was, [this was] his first day today. But he's been ready. He's cleared to participate and he was out there doing 1-on-1 drills, so we'll see."

Posted On Thursday, 05.21.2015 / 8:15 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - Ducks-Blackhawks series blog

Nordstrom, Versteeg in for Blackhawks for Game 3

CHICAGO -- Rookie forward Joakim Nordstrom and forward Kris Versteeg were in the Chicago Blackhawks lineup for Game 3 of the Western Conference Final against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday.

Center Antoine Vermette didn't participate in warm-ups at United Center, and rookie forward Teuvo Teravainen didn't skate on any of the lines during rushes.

Nordstrom took rushes at right wing on the fourth line, and Versteeg was at right wing on the third line.

Posted On Thursday, 05.21.2015 / 2:38 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - Ducks-Blackhawks series blog

Shaw, Desjardins team up on Blackhawks fourth line

CHICAGO -- Andrew Shaw and Andrew Desjardins had plenty of run-ins when they played for different teams, but now they're teaming up on the Chicago Blackhawks' fourth line to make life miserable for somebody else.

Heading into Game 3 at United Center on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports), the Blackhawks will count on them for another successful blue-collar effort battling for pucks and holding one of the Ducks lines in check.

Desjardins plays left wing, Shaw plays right wing and in between is gritty two-way center Marcus Kruger, whose game-winning goal in triple overtime of Game 2 in the Western Conference Final on Tuesday evened the best-of-7 series against the Anaheim Ducks at 1-1.

"I just think our line worked together [in Game 2]," said Shaw, who scored on a power play, led Chicago with seven shots on goal and tied for second with 10 shot attempts. "We were cycling the puck, getting chances, getting shots on net. [Kruger] made some great passes; so did [Desjardins]. And when your line's clicking like that you're going to get those opportunities."

Posted On Thursday, 05.14.2015 / 5:00 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - Ducks-Blackhawks series blog

Blackhawks evaluating defense pairs for Game 1

CHICAGO – The Chicago Blackhawks are expected to lean heavily on their top four defensemen in the Western Conference Final against the Anaheim Ducks, and their practice Thursday supported that belief.

Duncan Keith was paired with Niklas Hjalmarsson instead of 23-year-old David Rundblad, and Brent Seabrook shifted with Johnny Oduya rather than 40-year-old Kimmo Timonen.

Rundblad, Timonen and Kyle Cumiskey alternated shifts together as a makeshift third pairing.

"Let's see," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "Let's [take] a look at different options as we go into [the series]. The pair that probably didn't see much of one another was David and Kimmo, so we'll see if we can utilize that as we go along in a game, but it's something we wanted to see."

Posted On Wednesday, 05.13.2015 / 6:22 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - Ducks-Blackhawks series blog

Blackhawks try to avoid rust during long layoff

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks have experienced quite a bit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs over the past seven seasons, but they're adding to it this week during an extended layoff between series.

The Blackhawks will have had nine days off before they play the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final at Honda Center (3 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports). They have not played since completing a sweep of the Minnesota Wild in the second round at Xcel Energy Center last Thursday.

Chicago has practiced three of the past six days, including Wednesday, and is trying to avoid any rust that might build up prior to the start of the conference final.

"I think there is such a thing as momentum," Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane said. "That's one of the biggest things in [the] playoffs, whether it's through a series or from series to series. I think for all of us in here, we probably would've rather started the series earlier than it's supposed to be, but what are you going to do? That's the way the schedule is. You've kind of got to adjust with it, and I think we'll use the time off the right way and make sure we're ready for the first game."

Posted On Thursday, 05.07.2015 / 3:34 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Blackhawks' Versteeg healthy, waiting for his chance

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg has returned from a lower-body injury but must wait for an opportunity to crack the lineup in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Versteeg, 28, will be a healthy scratch in Game 4 of the Western Conference Second Round at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports 2), when the Blackhawks have a chance to end the best-of-7 series with a sweep of the Minnesota Wild.

Versteeg played all six games of Chicago's first-round victory against the Nashville Predators and scored one goal. He was replaced to start this series by rookie forward Teuvo Teravainen and then missed a few days of practice because of the injury, which was his third this season.

"I'm feeling good now," Versteeg said after the Blackhawks' skate. "I'm just kind of waiting now to get in the lineup and trying to be ready for my call. I don't think anyone can ever say they're 100 percent [in the playoffs], but I feel good now and I think it was important to do what I did."

Posted On Wednesday, 05.06.2015 / 5:34 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Blackhawks mostly using five defensemen

MINNEAPOLIS – The Chicago Blackhawks have played their best defense of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs in the past two games against the Minnesota Wild, but coach Joel Quenneville has shortened his bench in each game.

Quenneville has played mostly five defensemen in the previous two games, which were won by the Blackhawks to take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-7 Western Conference Second Round series. The odd man out was 40-year old veteran Kimmo Timonen, whose ice time keeps dwindling.

Timonen, acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 28, averaged 11:58 in 16 regular-season games. He's averaged 9:31 per game through the first nine games of the playoffs and played a combined 12:01 in the past two games. Top defenseman Duncan Keith is absorbing most of the minutes normally reserved for a sixth defenseman, but hasn't shown signs of being worn out yet.

"[Keith] played meaningful minutes in the last couple of games, but it's something he's accustomed to doing and we're comfortable giving him those minutes," Quenneville said. "We'll see how taxing some of those minutes are, and at the end of the day, you look at it going into the next day, how you think he's going to handle it. He usually doesn't give you any reason why he can't do it again … but we'll see."

First | Prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7-12 | Next | Last



Quote of the Day

Yeah, I guess so. That empty-netter was pretty lucky, but I'll take it.

— Senators forward Mike Hoffman when asked if his two-goal game was a good way to celebrate his 26th birthday
World Cup of Hockey 2016