Daniel Carcillo sounds off on Blues’ David BackesContinue reading.
Will David Backes play in Game 4? Blues coach: “You never know”
The bad blood, post-whistle activity and general animosity of the Blackhawks-Blues playoff series has subsided. But the gamesmanship is kicking into high gear prior to a critical Game 4 at the United Center tonight.
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock amped it up when he played coy regarding forward David Backes’ status for Game 4, refusing to give even a hint of Backes’ condition.
“He wasn’t available for the pre-game skate,” Hitchcock said when asked about his status for Game 4.
So will he play tonight?
“He wasn’t available for the pre-game skate,” Hitchcock repeated.
Backes, who was injured when he was illegally checked in the head by Brent Seabrook in Game 2 at Scottrade Center, missed Game 3 at the United Center on Monday night. Hitchcock, a good-natured sort, seemed to enjoy toying with media queries about Backes status.
“He’s not going to play unless he’s healthy,” Hitchcock said. “You never know. He could be skating in another rink. He could be somewhere else. You don’t know. There are a lot of other rinks here in Chicago. So he could be doing other things.
“But he’s not going into the lineup unless he’s a player. If he’s a player, the way he plays he’s going to have a huge impact on the series. If he skated somewhere else and is in fine-tuned conditioning, you’ll see him tonight.”
Hitchcock did announce that forward Brenden Morrow is out for the series. Morrow suffered a foot injury late in the regular season and has been trying to play through it. He played the first two games of the series but not in Game 3.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville did his own bit of gamesmanship when he paired Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on his top line to open Game 3 after both had skated on separate lines throughout the series and even in Monday’s morning skate.
The Blackhawks will be without Seabrook, who will be serving the second game of a three-game suspension in Game 4. Duncan Keith did not participate in the Hawks’ morning skate Wednesday but will play in Game 4. He was being rested after getting 27:27 of ice time in Game 3.