The Chicago Blackhawks have been essentially riding four defensemen throughout this Western Conference Final, while sparingly playing 40-year-old Kimmo Timonen.
With the Blackhawks now facing elimination heading into Game 6 in Chicago, could head coach Joel Quenneville be considering a lineup change or two, particularly on the blue line?
Timonen, acquired just before the trade deadline, has averaged under 10 minutes of ice time — 9:25 to be exact — in 15 playoff games with Chicago.
Quenneville opened the door to possible lineup changes for Game 6, even entertaining the seemingly remote possibility that Trevor van Riemsdyk could make his return. The rookie, a pleasant surprise out of training camp, played 18 games with the Hawks before fracturing his kneecap blocking a shot in November. He then lasted eight games with Rockford of the AHL before undergoing wrist surgery.
Game 6 of the Western Conference final seems a big stage for a rusty returning rookie, but Quenneville didn’t rule it out at all.