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Vermette: I was not happy being scratched

10h

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forwards Antoine Vermette and Teuvo Teravainen are in two different places in their careers.

That was apparent when each responded Friday to being made a healthy scratch against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals on Thursday. Vermette, the veteran, knew it was best not to say much, but his frustration was apparent. Teravainen, a rookie, willingly answered all questions, but he put the blame more on himself for not playing.

Vermette and Teravainen both played in the Blackhawks’ Game 2 triple-overtime win. Vermette thought his play was good enough to remain in the lineup.

“Obviously, I thought I had a good game,” said the 32-year-old Vermette, whom the Blackhawks acquired at the trade deadline for a first-round draft pick and a prospect. “I was playing well there. So, obviously, it came as a surprise and a disappointment. I’m not going to lie. I was not happy with that. But my job is to be ready whenever I have a chance to be in the lineup, and that’s what I’m going to do. … I’ll keep it that way. I’m probably going to stick to this. I promised I was going to be short.”

Teravainen took more questions. He also thought he had been playing fine, but he understood Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville’s decision.

“Of course, I want to play every time, but sometimes I’m not,” the 20-year-old Teravainen said. “It happens. … Yeah, never know, never know what happens. I have to always be ready to go out there. But sometimes maybe I’m not going. We have a lot of depth in our team, and sometimes I’m not in.”

Quenneville said he replaced Teravainen and Vermette with Kris Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom to get “fresh legs” in the lineup after Game 2 being so long and having to travel to Chicago from California. Teravainen and Vermette both said they felt fine after Game 2.

Quenneville said Teravainen and Vermette could return to the lineup for Game 4 on Saturday.

“They both could play,” Quenneville said. “When we look at making decisions, going into yesterday's game was going to be our most challenging game energy-wise after the tough game we had Game 2. We felt that trying to utilize our depth, that it could help us, give us some energy and some speed. As it turned out, we didn't win the game. That's where we're at today.”

Teravainen was asked whether he thought he would play in Game 4.

“I don’t know,” Teravainen said. “It’s just we’ll see. It’s Coach Q’s decision.”

So, it is, and we’ll all see on Saturday whether Vermette and Teravainen are back in Quenneville’s lineup.