- Scott Powers, Reporter
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CHICAGO -- Finally combining Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews? Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said it’s a possibility Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals.
Removing defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who has been on the ice for four goals against in the series? Quenneville said he’ll look at his options.
Bringing into the lineup rookie defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk, who hasn't played in an NHL game since November, due to a variety of injuries? Quenneville said he’ll see how van Riemsdyk feels after the morning skate.
Basically, Quenneville is considering every possibility that might give the Blackhawks a better chance to win and force a Game 7.
“We'll see how everybody looks tomorrow,” Quenneville said Tuesday when asked about lineup changes.
If Quenneville is to make a lineup move, Timonen is one of the more likely players to be replaced. He has averaged a team-low 9:26 in five games against the Ducks and has been on the ice for four even-strength Ducks goals. Quenneville was asked if there is a breaking point with Timonen.
“We'll see,” Quenneville said. “I know that every game is different with him. Some games, he gets a few more minutes. He doesn't play a lot. I know it's not easy on him. But we'll look at options.”
The two main alternate options are van Riemsdyk and David Rundblad. Van Riemsdyk had patella and wrist surgeries this season and just began skating again last week. He played the first 18 games of the season with the Blackhawks before fracturing his left patella in a game. Then, he suffered a wrist injury while he was rehabbing with the Rockford IceHogs. He most recently played in the AHL in March.
“We'll see,” Quenneville said when asked if van Riemsdyk could play in Game 6. “Look forward to talking to him. He skated today. We’ll see how he is. He's going to skate with us in the morning.”
Rundblad played in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals. He played 10:47 and was on the ice for two goals against. He had 14 points and was plus-17 in 49 regular-season games.
As for putting Kane and Toews together on a line, something Quenneville has done only when desperate in recent years, he said it was possible.
“We'll see all our options,” Quenneville said. “Over the course of a game, you never know.”