Any chance that momentum made the trip home from California with the
Perhaps other technical explanations exist for why the
You still can believe Coach Q has all the answers and question his decisions — especially ones this unusual and unexpected with the stakes so high.
In the first two games of the series, no Blackhawks line produced more than the fourth unit of
"We trust Q to mix and match players and lines," winger
Yes, Quenneville has earned that trust, yet he deserves the second-guessing he invited. The Blackhawks didn't lose solely because of the changes, but they didn't help.
Quenneville shifted Shaw to center the third line, replacing
Discounting injury, Quenneville turned to forwards
"We just wanted to get fresh legs in there," said Quenneville, who typically goes with the status quo after wins. "We could have changed our lineup after the first game. That's what we're looking at."
What the Blackhawks saw was one move weakening two positions — Shaw affects games more at wing than center. Offensively, Chicago missed the creativity of Teravainen and Vermette.
Versteeg, inactive since April 25, admitted it took a while to adapt, and "the first two shifts it was like I was standing in a speedway." Nordstrom, out for 34 days, was out of position on the Ducks' game-winner. Overall, something was missing.
With 57 seconds left in the first period, Kane collected a loose puck between the circles, gathered himself and unleashed a no-look backhander past goalie
Meanwhile, the Ducks struck first on a power-play goal as
"This was a character win," Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said.
If Game 2 kept people up too late, at times this one threatened to put people to sleep. For a while, nothing on the ice raised an eyebrow higher than what
In a stunningly irresponsible comment for the commissioner of a contact sport to make in 2015, Bettman challenged the link between concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
"From a medical and science standpoint, there is no evidence yet that one necessarily leads to the other," Bettman said.
It's amazing Bettman could be heard speaking, what with his head in the sand. Even if Bettman was doing nothing more than publicly laying groundwork for an NHL legal defense, to claim with such authority that concussions might have no connection to CTE defied logic. Even if Bettman can find scientists to support his claim, dismissing CTE as a potential result of multiple concussions hardly reflects a man paid well to protect the game.