at Hawks 5
at Hawks 4
at Wild 4
8:30 p.m. Friday
at Wild, NBCSN
GAME 6 if necessary
GAME 7 if necessary
TBD May 15
Updated: June 10, 2014 6:35AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Coach Joel Quenneville sent a very strong message to defenseman Nick Leddy in Game 3 against the Wild, scratching him — in his hometown in front of family and friends — for the first time in more than three years. And while Quenneville wouldn’t tip his hand — he has two days off to stew on the 4-0 loss before Game 4 on Friday — he said that Leddy likely will get another chance to get out of the doghouse.
“I still think he’ll be a big part of this series and success going forward,” Quenneville said. “We’re going to need him here, and we want him to be a part of it.”
Leddy, who was buried at the end of the bench for the last three games of the Stanley Cup Final last spring, was replaced by Sheldon Brookbank in the lineup. Before the game, Quenneville said he needed to see more speed out of Leddy. After the game, Quenneville said Brookbank simply “deserved” a chance to play after performing well during Brent Seabrook’s three-game suspension against the St. Louis Blues.
Quenneville again praised Brookbank on Wednesday.
“Going into that building, I thought Brooksie, physically, probably gives us a little bit more,” he said. “We felt it was going to be a hard game. The St. Louis series was a tough, tough environment, and he handled it well. He played important minutes and played against some top lines, as well. We were comfortable with the move, and I thought he played pretty well.”
After taking an early penalty in Game 3, Niklas Hjalmarsson — medically not cleared to speak after taking a puck to the throat in Game 2 — slammed his stick to express his displeasure. But his defense partner, Johnny Oduya, said he didn’t run into much difficulty communicating during the game.
“The better you know somebody, the easier it is,” Oduya said.
That said, Hjalmarsson is not supposed to speak. It doesn’t mean he’s entirely incapable of it.
“I heard him yell a few times last night, so maybe that’s the energy of the game or the adrenaline that you get from playing,” Patrick Kane said.
Hjalmarsson’s seeming indestructibility continued to wow his teammates.
“Toughness is not always how hard you hit somebody — a lot of times it’s what you can take and go through, just being fearless,” Oduya said.
Shaw still questionable
Andrew Shaw, who suffered an apparent leg injury in Game 1
and hasn’t played since, is still questionable for Game 4.
“That’s to be determined,” Quenneville said. “He’s been OK. It’s tough to say right now.”