Andrew Desjardins is back in the lineup and it looks like David Rundblad will be, too, when the Blackhawks host the St. Louis Blues in Game 4 of their first-round series on Tuesday night.
Rundblad was recalled by the Blackhawks on April 11, the same day the team reassigned forwards Bryan Bickell and Dennis Rasmussen. The defenseman spent a good portion of this season with the ZSC Lions, to whom the Blackhawks loaned Rundblad in January after he cleared waivers.
Coach Joel Quenneville said he told Rundblad to “be ready to get into the series today.”
“He was always fine,” Quenneville said of Rundblad. “I think he’s got real good play recognition, patience with the puck, positionally fine. I think it’s in the puck area, defending around the net that he has to get better at. He’s a good puck mover, has a good feel for the game on the offensive point. Around the net I think he’s made inroads and improvement in that area. He’s come back here, he looks better.”
The Blackhawks have been trying to find the right combinations, be it on defense or on the bottom six forward lines, throughout this series. Desjardins, who was a healthy scratch in Game 3, was back with fourth line mates Andrew Shaw and Marcus Kruger. Desjardins understands the message sent to him.
“Just be better. I think it’s that simple,” he said. “I think expectations are high for myself as well as obviously the coaches expect a little bit more. That’s all I’m taking for it. A little bit more, a little bit more swagger, a little more attitude, a little bit more grit: Just all around better.”
The Blackhawks are down 2-1 in the series thus far. In the six previous times they have trailed 2-1, they have come back to win the series five times.