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Insider: Kane's play, roster rotation and more

by Staff Writer / Chicago Blackhawks
David Rundblad is one of several players who has rotated successfully into the Blackhawks lineup this season.

Below is an excerpt from General Manager Stan Bowman's interview on the 2014-15 Blackhawks Insider podcast. Click the SoundCloud file below the hear the complete conversation.

On Patrick Kane's high level of play:

He’s been excellent. There’s nothing else to describe it. He’s been on top of his game since the very beginning of the year – you could tell he was determined to come out strong this season. He has been doing it a lot of ways. He’s been doing it at even strength and on the power play. He’s been scoring goals, making plays. We’re certainly thankful he’s been able to elevate his game like that and produce offense for our team pretty much game in and game out. He’s creating opportunities, and that’s what you’re looking for in an offensive player. Sometimes they won’t always go in for you or you may not always rack up the points, but he’s been creating chances, and he’s also been able to finish a lot of them off. So it’s helped out the team tremendously.

On players rotating in and out of the lineup due to injury:

Things change so quickly in our game, mostly due to injuries. You could say there are some changes due to performance or due to play, but for the most part when your team goes along a healthy clip and you have consistent lineups and your team is playing well, then you kind of want to stick with what is working. We haven’t had a lot of injuries. We’ve had to get through some, obviously, with van Riemsdyk, Sharp and Versteeg, but for the most part we haven’t had a lot at one time. That’s why you can’t predict what the lineup is going to be like in three weeks, when so-and-so is healthy.

You don’t have to make those decisions until they come up, but it’s nice to see someone like David Rundblad get a long stretch of games where he’s shown that he has really become comfortable in the lineup. I think we’ve seen what he can do. He’s an excellent passer. He can really shoot the puck. He’s shooting it more than he ever has in the past. He’s looking to get the puck on the net, and it’s resulting in some goals for us.

I think with young players like David it’s a process, and we’ve seen this in the past with other players. You have to get comfortable in the league and it’s a tough league to play in. There’s that progress that has to happen at some point, and it’s nice when you have guys that are showing that progression and are able to stay in the lineup.

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