Sami Lepisto would like a fair shot
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org February 11, 2012 11:24PM
The Phoenix Coyotes inducted former Blackhawk Jeremy Roenick into their Ring of Honor on Saturday night. | Ross D. Franklin~AP
Updated: March 13, 2012 10:39AM
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Defenseman Sami Lepisto looked ecstatic to be back in the Blackhawks’ lineup.
After playing well enough for coach Joel Quenneville against the San Jose Sharks on Friday, Lepisto remained in the lineup for a second consecutive game Saturday. It was only his 13th game this season and his third in the last 26.
Does Lepisto feel like he has gotten a fair shot this season?
“Probably not,” he said. “Of course, I hope I get to play more and show that I can play.”
Quenneville has opted to use enforcer John Scott more than Lepisto on defense. Injuries to Niklas Hjalmarsson and Steve Montador also have given Lepisto more of a chance.
“He hasn’t played many games,” Quenneville said. “The more ice time you get, the better you play or the more comfortable you are with your game. In his defense, I’m sure he would like more.”
Lepisto said he remains 100 percent confident in his abilities.
“My skills are still there,” said Lepisto, who had his first point as a Hawk with an assist in San Jose. “I can still play.”
A J.R. moment
The Phoenix Coyotes inducted former Hawks star Jeremy Roenick into their Ring of Honor, retiring the No. 97 he wore for them over six seasons starting in 1996.
Roenick, who was traded by the Hawks to the Coyotes for Alexei Zhamnov and Craig Mills, said he’d like to see his No. 27 retired in Chicago. Recently, rookie Jeremy Morin has worn that number.
“They just drag their feet a little bit slower than Phoenix does,” joked Roenick, who said he knows groups that would be interested in owning the Coyotes.
“With the exception of the Hall of Fame, this is by far the best thing you can have bestowed upon you. If it’s with more than one team, really I would have never in a million years thought about that. I think my numbers speak for themselves in Chicago. . . . I think we have a good-enough relationship after 20 years that we’ll get there.”
What does Roenick think about the Hawks’ struggles?
“I think they better get their [butts] going,” he said. “Every team goes through down points. They’re a strong team. They have a great coach. They’ll be all right.”
A day after Quenneville said his goaltending “has to be better” after Corey Crawford faltered against the Sharks, Ray Emery was back in goal. Quenneville doesn’t think Crawford’s confidence has vanished.
“I just think when you let in one of those goals you think you can stop, you have to move forward,” Quenneville said.