It doesn’t appear that the Chicago Blackhawks will be making any changes to their forward lines going into Game 6 of the Western Conference Final against the Anaheim Ducks, but they will be making one change to their defensive pairings.
That change is the addition of David Rundblad to the lineup, with Kimmo Timonen sitting out a game for the first time in this postseason. Rundblad was part of the team’s top six defensemen during the morning skate at the United Center Wednesday, and he left the ice surface early while Timonen stayed out with the players who won’t be participating in the must-win game.
Timonen, who was acquired for two draft picks in a trade deadline move by G.M. Stan Bowman, has had trouble playing for extended stints with the team, and his limited ice time has meant that the team’s top four defensemen have had to shoulder a greater burden in this postseason. Timonen is only averaging 9:26 of ice time per game despite the fact that the Hawks have played in five overtime games, and four of those went to multiple extra stanzas.
As for Rundblad, he was the player who got the first crack at replacing Michal Rozsival in the Hawks’ lineup when the veteran blue liner fractured his ankle in Game 4 of the second round sweep of the Minnesota Wild, but he was quickly replaced by Kyle Cumiskey in the lineup. Cumiskey has been in the rotation ever since, but Wednesday will be the first time that the two will both be in the lineup at the same time in this postseason.