Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final has been a bumpy ride so far for Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Kimmo Timonen.
During the first period, Timonen took a hooking penalty on Valtteri Filppula, yet it was the penalty he drew that really made for a memorable visual.
There’s a remarkable cross-section between professional wrestling and hockey fans, so here’s the question: what move best describes the collision Timonen was in here?
Here’s one submission from Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski:
Either way, many believe that it will be an adventure whenever the veteran is on the ice.
Update: He didn’t get much time to thrive or struggle in the middle frame, either:
While you shake off the shock of Ben Bishop not even playing in Game 4 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, here are some other interesting lineup notes.
The Chicago Blackhawks see the most changes. Johnny Oduya and Kimmo Timonen are in the mix, while Kris Versteeg shuffles Bryan Bickell back into the press box. Timonen’s Cup Final appearance should feel quite different from his last one:
Joel Quenneville also might be mixing up the lines tonight:
On the Tampa Bay Lightning’s end, Jonathan Drouin is not getting in the lineup, as Nikita Nesterov keeps the Bolts in their 11-forward, seven-defensemen alignment. Other than that, nothing significant, right?
So much for Ben Bishop moving slowly merely because he’s super-tall.
Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper has been prone to swerves in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, but this is the biggest one, as Bishop isn’t even dressing for Game 4. Instead, the Bolts will go with the young and difficult-to-spell pairing of Andrei Vasilevskiy as the starter and Kristers Gudlevskis as the backup.
The Lightning will only say that Bishop is day-to-day, not specifying his injury. If you’ve followed the postseason, you know injury updates only become transparent after a team’s run is over (if that).
Talk about a “no pressure, kid” situation. Vasilevskiy’s first career postseason start comes in a championship-round game against a Chicago Blackhawks team in an urgent situation.
On the bright side, he at least got his feet wet in this series in Game 2, nursing the Lightning to a win while we wondered if Bishop’s issues were toilet or injury-related. It sure looks like the latter; we’ll see if Tampa Bay provides any more information about Bishop going forward.
(Don’t hold your breath.)
It’s a scary situation for the Lightning, yet note that Vasilevskiy certainly has the pedigree to believe that he could provide pleasant surprises.
Here’s video of Cooper denying Bishop’s injury issues during an on-the-bench interview during Game 3, an explanation that remarkably becomes less convincing as time goes on:
Todd Nelson is expected to meet with Detroit Red Wings executives about the vacant Grand Rapids Griffins head coaching job on Thursday, TSN’s Darren Dreger reports.
Nelson served as interim head coach of the Edmonton Oilers this past season. The team went 17-25-9 in 42 games with Nelson behind the bench.
Before that, he spent four full seasons and part of 2014-15 as head coach of the Oilers’ (now-defunct) affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons. In other words, the Red Wings organization would be getting a seasoned head coach at the AHL level after promoting Jeff Blashill (assuming Nelson is the one who sticks).
Dreger also reports that Mike Sullivan is in the running. He was assistant coach of the New York Rangers for four seasons but spent 2014-15 with the Vancouver Canucks.
Many of the same storylines from Game 3 seep into Game 4 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.
How healthy is Ben Bishop, really? Will Jonathan Drouin get in the lineup? How much of a fatigue factor will there be for Chicago?
The stakes are obviously different, however. On one side, the Tampa Bay Lightning could take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. On the other, the Chicago Blackhawks hope to tie it up 2-2. Obviously, tonight’s game is bigger for the ‘Hawks, whether the Bolts aim to be greedy or not.
The last two contests have been batty at times, so we’ll see if the zaniness carries into Game 4. Either way, you can enjoy the action on NBCSN and also stream it via NBC Sports Live Extra (starting with pregame coverage).
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE