It has been a while since the Chicago Blackhawks last played an actual game — a full week, in fact, as of Thursday.
The ability to rest up after sweeping a team, like Chicago did to Minnesota in the second round, can be beneficiary during the grind of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Players can get away and relax for just a little bit, and those dealing with injuries are afforded a little extra time to heal up.
But when the Blackhawks play the Anaheim Ducks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final on Sunday, it will be 10 days in between games for Chicago.
That’s a lengthy layoff, and has led Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville to turn to battle drills and scrimmages in order to at least try and simulate a game, as per CSN Chicago.
“It’s one of those things you can’t do,” Andrew Shaw told CSN Chicago. “A game is totally different, pace is always faster, more physical. [Do a] couple battle drills, some quick scrimmages to get the pace going, keep the legs fresh.”