As great as Tuukka Rask has been, Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville seemingly believes that the Boston Bruins aren’t seeing their best game.
“Tonight, I thought we made it rather easy on him,” Quenneville said of Rask.
Quenneville said he thought that the Blackhawks played into the Bruins’ hands after Game 2. Being shut out in Game 3 might just make him feel like it could be Boston’s kind of series.
“It’s a low-chance game. It’s a low-chance series,” Quenneville said. ” … It’s hard to get A-plus chances. You have to manufacture the second, kind of ugly goals, tip screens, deflections.”
“If they give up the rush, they’re not going to give up much, even though we had a couple looks in the third. The frequency of having high-quality chances in this series at both ends has not been there.”
Even so, the 26-year-old stopped 61 out of the last 62 shots he’s seen, including tonight’s 28-save shutout.
Following the game, Rask didn’t exactly make it easy on the censors:
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”
Jake Virtanen, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft, will make his NHL debut tonight when his Canucks meet the Kings in Los Angeles.
The 19-year-old winger was a healthy scratch for Vancouver’s first three games of the regular season. He had two goals and two assists in six preseason games.
“I can’t wait,” he told reporters. “My energy is high. I want to get a couple of hits on my first shift.”
Big and physical with goal-scoring ability, the consensus is that Virtanen will remain in the NHL and not be returned to junior after he’s played nine games. That consensus could always change based on his play, of course.
The Canucks — who won last night in Anaheim — did not have a full skate this morning, so it’s unclear who will come out of the lineup. The best guess is rookie Jared McCann, who’s been playing third-line center.
If McCann does come out, the Canucks could move Brandon Sutter to third-line center and Virtanen could take Sutter’s spot on the first line with the Sedin twins. Or, there could be more extensive line juggling.