The Chicago Blackhawks have a lot of strengths, but their defensive depth might not be one of them. After Michal Rozsival suffered an ankle injury that will sideline him for the rest of the playoffs, 24-year-old David Rundblad was inserted into the lineup for Game 1 of the Western Conference Final.
Rundblad as well as Kimmo Timonen barely played though, forcing the Blackhawks’ top four defensemen to carry the load. The Anaheim Ducks went on to win that game 4-1. Under those circumstances, Kyle Cumiskey practiced alongside Johnny Oduya today in place of Rundblad.
“(Cumiskey) could play,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville when asked about the potential lineup change for Game 2 tomorrow. On the subject of what Cumiskey would offer if he’s inserted into the lineup, Quenneville added, “He brings some speed, quickness. I think he defends with his quickness in the puck area. I think offensively he’s got some pace to his game as well.
“I think it will be a good opportunity for him to come in and help us and bring some quickness to our team.”
Q said Kyle Cumiskey "could" play tomorrow, which is a yes in his speak. #Blackhawks
— Tracey Myers (@TramyersCSN) May 18, 2015
Cumiskey is a more veteran option than Rundblad, but he spent most of the 2014-15 campaign in the minors. The 28-year-old ended up playing in seven regular season contests with Chicago, bringing his career total to 139 regular season games. The last time he made a playoff appearance at this level was 2010 when he was with the Colorado Avalanche.
“It’s a huge game to get thrown into. I’m sure I’ll be nervous, but excited at the same time,” Cumiskey said, per the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus.