Concerns about Marcus Kruger and Bryan Bickell being injured were dispelled by Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville on Wednesday. The coach said both players are "fine" and will be ready to play in Game 1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, reports Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago.
Quenneville added that rookie defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk will make the trip to Tampa Bay and skate with the team. From there, the coaching staff will gauge where he is at.
Kruger took a hard hit in the third period in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday, and was seen hunched over on the bench afterward. He has two goals and one assist in 17 games this spring.
Bickell logged four minutes and 12 seconds in the first period Saturday, but was limited to just one shift in the second and didn't play at all in the final frame. He remained on the bench, though, leaving it up to debate as to whether he was injured or not. Bickell has no goals and five assists in 17 games this postseason.
Update on defensemen
Van Riemsdyk was recalled by the Hawks on May 22 after recovering from a right wrist surgery. The 23-year-old suffered the injury while playing for the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League during his rehab stint after he suffered a fractured kneecap when he was struck by a shot against the Dallas Stars on Nov. 16. He hasn't played an NHL game since the injury.
Van Riemsdyk recorded one assist while averaging 13 minutes and 32 seconds in 18 regular-season games for the Hawks. He had three assists in eight games with Rockford.
Kimmo Timonen, 40, was a healthy scratch against Anaheim in the final two games of the series and Quenneville started two defensemen playing in their first Game 7 -- Kyle Cumiskey and David Rundblad. The pair survived Game 6 without making any horrific mistakes, so Quenneville stuck with them. Rundblad played only 5 minutes and 35 seconds in Game 7 while Cumiskey played 8 minutes and 31 seconds.
Rundblad was playing in just his third playoff game and Cumiskey in his 12th.
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