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‘Hawks put Rundblad in, Timonen out, defensive pairings different than expected

at Madison Square Garden on March 18, 2015 in New York City.

David Rundblad

Bruce Bennett

As anticipated, defenseman David Rundblad drew in for Chicago tonight in Game 6 against the Anaheim Ducks. That comes at the expense of 40-year-old Kimmo Timonen, who played in Chicago’s first 15 playoff games but was averaging just 9:25 minutes per contest.

Timonen had a 47.79% Corsi For in even strength situations, which was the third worst on the team among those that had participated in at least five playoff games.

Based on the pregame warmups though, the pairings are a bit different than expected. During the regular season, Rundblad would most often play with Duncan Keith and this afternoon it looked like he would skate alongside Kyle Cumiskey. Instead, Rundblad is projected to be paired with Johnny Oduya. Meanwhile Cumiskey will play with Brent Seabrook and Keith will join Niklas Hjalmarsson to form the top defensive unit.

Chicago has been leaning heavily on its top four defensemen throughout the playoffs and questions about its blueline depth only intensified after Michal Rozsival suffered an ankle injury. With these changes, we’ll have to see if the allocation of ice time is a little more balanced.

Q usually plays Rundblad with Keith ... and usually it’s a disaster for Keith, who can’t always cover for him. Oduya more stay-at-home.

— Brian Hedger (@BrianHedger) May 27, 2015

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