In a bit of a surprising move, Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville held a practice on Monday afternoon in Anaheim after his team's 4-1 loss to the Ducks on Sunday in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final.
During that workout, the coach shuffled up his defensive pairings a bit, with Kyle Cumiskey slotting into the rotation and skating with Johnny Oduya. Niklas Hjalmarsson was on the top pairing with Duncan Keith during the practice, and Brent Seabrook and Kimmo Timonen were also paired up as the team prepares for Game 2 on Tuesday night.
The decision to put Cumiskey in the lineup is an interesting one, as Quenneville had started David Rundblad in place of Michal Rozsival for the first game of the series. Rozsival broke his left ankle during Game 4 of the team's series against the Minnesota Wild, and Rundblad was chosen to replace him.
The blue liner did struggle out of the gate on Sunday afternoon, allowing Jakub Silfverberg to bring the puck into the zone to help set up Anaheim's first goal. He also committed another costly mistake in the second period as he failed to clear the puck along the boards in the defensive zone, and Kyle Palmieri ultimately scored to give the Ducks a 2-0 advantage in the game.
Even with the mistakes, Rundblad did seem as though he was getting better as the game wore on, but that wasn't enough as Quenneville seems ready to go with Cumiskey for Game 2.