The Chicago Blackhawks made some changes to their lineup before Game 3, but after the adjustments failed to work and the team looked lost on offense, head coach Joel Quenneville has reversed course and put Teuvo Teravainen and Antoine Vermette back into the lineup.
The decision to switch out those two players for Kris Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom caught many by surprise before the game, as the coach isn’t keen to make changes to the lineup after victories. In spite of that, Quenneville did make the switch, but he quickly changed his mind after the experiment didn’t work out.
“There are some good stretches there in Game 2,” Quenneville told the media after morning skate on Saturday. “I think that line can be a factor offensively. I think defensively they've been reliable in stretches as well. Just some pace and energy across the board. That four-line rotation that we felt was best in Game 2 is what we're looking for.”
With that quote as context, the question once again begs to be asked: If the rotation worked in Game 2, why did Quenneville feel the need to make a change for Game 3? He told the media after the 2-1 loss that he wanted to get “fresh legs” into the lineup, but with both players having only played limited minutes even in a triple overtime slugfest, the reasoning rang a bit hollow in the ears of many.
Whatever the case, the return of Teravainen and Vermette should be welcome news for Patrick Sharp. He struggled mightily with Versteeg and Andrew Shaw playing on his line in Game 3, and he is one of many Blackhawks players that will need to step up their game if the team is going to win this contest and tie things up at two games apiece.