Hartsburg Feels Personnel Decision Was Right Move
Sassone, Tim, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Tim Sassone Daily Herald Sports Writer
Blackhawks coach Craig Hartsburg has no regrets about dressing only 19 players Wednesday in Game 4 - one fewer than allowed.
Hartsburg kept hoping the injured Chris Chelios would be able to return at any time and enter the game. He said having only 17 skaters available for what turned out to be a three-overtime game had no affect on the outcome.
"We weren't outnumbered or anything like that," Hartsburg said. "They lost a player who was kicked out of the game (Adam Deadmarsh) and they had dressed seven defensemen as well. It wasn't a lack of manpower that cost us the game. We didn't capitalize on some chances and they did."
Without Chelios available, Hartsburg basically used four defensemen the whole night: Keith Carney, Steve Smith, Gary Suter and Eric Weinrich.
It was apparent that fatigue finally caught up to the four in the overtimes.
"You could see their defense was tired," said Colorado's Joe Sakic, whose goal at 4:33 of the third OT won it 3-2 for the Avalanche.
"You never know it's going to go three overtimes, first of all," Hartsburg said, defending his use of four defensemen.
"In a normal game, if we knew for sure that Cheli wouldn't be there we would have played more with six. But at playoff time you play your best players and you're doing everything you can to win at that point."
- Don't be surprised if Bernie Nicholls has his ice time reduced Saturday in Game 5 in favor of Denis Savard, because of their speed factor.
Nicholls hasn't been much of a threat in the series with no goals and 2 assists in four games.
"We've got to have more from everybody, Bernie included," said Craig Hartsburg. …