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Thursday, May 8, 2014
Leddy motivated after healthy scratch

By Scott Powers

CHICAGO -- Defenseman Nick Leddy is one of the Chicago Blackhawks' most reserved players, at least around the media.

Leddy opened up a bit Thursday when explaining his feelings after being a healthy scratch for the first time since he became an every-day player in January of 2011. He had played in 296 consecutive games, which included regular season and playoffs, prior to being made a healthy scratch against the Minnesota Wild in Game 3 of the second-round series on Tuesday.

Leddy
"Like I said, it would make you mad and [tick] you off," Leddy said after practice on Thursday. "Like I said, it's out of my control. I've just got to be ready to go. It's definitely a first. It's definitely a huge learning experience. Definitely a big wake-up call."

That's just the sort of response Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is hoping for from Leddy, who will return to the lineup for Game 4 on Friday.

"We're looking for more," Quenneville said. "That's kind of it. Sometimes it gets their attention. It's never personal. It's, 'Hey, let's go.' We're trying to find ways to get the most of each and every individual. That's kind of where we're at in that situation.

"I think Nick is going to give us some speed, give us some pace. I think he's got that quickness to his game that we'd like as a team to be part of our team, as well, so Nick's going to be back playing [Friday]."

Quenneville was first irked by Leddy's play in Game 2 of the series. Leddy was limited to 56 seconds of ice time and three shifts in the third period in Game 2. He was then replaced by Sheldon Brookbank in the lineup for Game 3.

Leddy dislikes being scratched, but he has held himself accountable for it. He said he needs to go for pucks harder in the defensive zone.

"I think any player would be disappointed to be scratched," Leddy said. "But that was a coach's decision, and I think for me as a player I know I have to be better. I think any competitor would get ticked at that. Like I said, I don't think I was playing the way that coaches wanted and it was a coaching decision. I've got to be better."

In the playoffs, Leddy has two assists and a minus-1 rating while averaging 15:26 of ice time. In the regular season, he had seven goals, 24 assists and a plus-10 rating.