Leddy, sit, go: Nick to see more action for Blackhawks
BY MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org June 21, 2013 8:52PM
After only four shifts and 2:37 of ice time in Game 4, defenseman Nick Leddy (8) will see more action Saturday night. | AP
Updated: July 23, 2013 6:18AM
After an ominous benching in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, defenseman Nick Leddy is getting another chance.
Leddy, 22, played four shifts and had only 2:37 of ice time in the Blackhawks’ 6-5 overtime victory Wednesday night against the Bruins at TD Garden.
‘‘We expect Nick to get back to playing more [in Game 5],’’ coach Joel Quenneville said. ‘‘Every game is different, but he brings a nice guy from our back end that can move the puck and defend and do what we need him to do to get involved in the attack.’’
The stoic Leddy reacted to the benching without emotion. He said he talked with Quenneville about his reduced ice time but didn’t say much about it.
‘‘I think we won the game,’’ Leddy said. ‘‘That’s all that matters. It’s about the team. It’s not really about me. We won the last game, and we’re now focusing on the next one.’’
Labor of glove
The Hawks appeared amused by the focus on Corey Crawford getting beat on his glove side in Game 4.
‘‘I tried [in practice], and he stopped me glove-side, so hopefully he’s got it all figured out,’’ Patrick Sharp joked after practice Friday. ‘‘I don’t know if that was the [Bruins’] game plan, but I like Corey in there. I’ve seen goals go in all different ways, and I’ve seen him make saves all different ways. I like his chances against them.’’
After getting dominated in the faceoff circle 40-16 in a Game 3 loss in Boston, the Hawks were virtually even in Game 4, losing 39-38. Sharp, who was 4-for-7 on faceoffs in Game 4, said he learned from one of the best — Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke, who helped out when Sharp was a minor-leaguer in the Flyers’ organization.
The lesson? Don’t overthink it.
‘‘The biggest thing he told me was, ‘Get in there, get low and just battle and not be afraid to get dirty,’ ’’ Sharp said. ‘‘Sometimes you get thinking about what the other guy’s doing, and ... the best way is [to] just get in there and compete for the puck.’’
Home vs. road
The Hawks would rather have home-ice advantage than not in what is now a best-of-three series. But they know it’s not an automatic against the Bruins, who are 6-3 on the road in the playoffs and won Game 2 at the United Center.
‘‘We’re a team that doesn’t mind playing on the road,’’ Bruins coach Claude Julien said. ‘‘That’s not something we fear. We’re going into [Game 5] with as much confidence as anybody else would.’’