With four games left in the regular season and all but the President’s Trophy wrapped up, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville admitted Saturday he might consider resting some of his regulars for the playoffs.
“We’ll definitely visit that,” Quenneville said.
“Going into games you don’t want to change too much,” added Quenneville. “We want to make sure we keep the momentum and with our team game we’re doing things the right way.
“We don’t want to make changes just for the sake of making changes. We usually change because we don’t like things or the way it’s looking. It’s tough to forecast that, but hopefully we don’t have to make too many alterations.”
Getting rookie center Drew LeBlanc into a game this week might be an option for Quenneville. Also with the last game of the season in St. Louis against a nasty Blues team that might relish the opportunity to knock a few of the Hawks out for the playoffs, that might be a chance for Quenneville to rest regulars such as Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Duncan Keith.
“That’s too far away,” Quenneville said. “We’ve got four more games before we consider that.”
Going 2-for-3 on the power play in Friday’s 5-4 win over Nashville to snap a 0-for-19 dry spell was just what the doctor ordered for the Hawks.
“It was a tough stretch there,” Joel Quenneville said. “When it started it wasn’t a problem, but then it evolved into where all of a sudden the confidence or the patience or the play recognition eroded there.
“It was almost like the whole group there, you could feel it when we scored, all of a sudden everybody was a lot more comfortable and you could see the air being let out of the group.
“Hopefully we can continue on in a positive way and try to get it where that’s going to be a key part of our offense.”
Duncan Keith and Marian Hossa scored on the power play Friday.
“We want to keep it rolling, keep it going,” Keith said. “As long as we’re getting chances and creating, that’s the main thing. Obviously you want to produce out there and get some goals out of it, but as long as we’re moving it and getting chances and feeling good about it, that’s important, too.”
Crow about it:
With Ray Emery still sidelined by a lower-body injury, Corey Crawford got the start again Saturday against Phoenix.
“It’s good for him to get back-to-back games,” Joel Quenneville said. “Going down the stretch here and Ray not playing, we’re looking for him to do what he has to do and be solid in net.”
Quenneville said Carter Hutton never was going to play this weekend after getting recalled from Rockford.
“Going into (the weekend) we forecasted that Corey was likely going to get both games,” Quenneville said.
Joel Quenneville expects all of his players to go on the road trip to Vancouver and Edmonton, including Patrick Sharp (shoulder), Ray Emery (lower body) and Michal Rozsival (upper body).
Sharp missed his fourth straight game Saturday and 18th in the last 20.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.