Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final Monday could see some relatively fresh faces on the ice, including Hawks winger Bryan Bickell and defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk – and the second Cup Final game from Lightning rookie Jonathan Drouin.
Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final Monday could feature some relatively new faces at both ends of the rink: the host Chicago Blackhawks are expected to play defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk and left winger Bryan Bickell for the first time in the series, while Tampa Bay rookie Jonathan Drouin may remain in the lineup for the second straight game despite still suffering some growth pains at the most intense level of hockey there is.
Bickell – who revealed he hasn’t been playing in the first two games of the Cup Final due to vertigo – will draw into Chicago’s deep group of forwards Monday, while van Riemsdyk (who last played in a Nov. 16 game that saw him fracture his left patella blocking a shot) will be an option on the blueline for Hawks coach Joel Quenneville.
Meanwhile, Drouin will take the warmup skate at United Center before Lightning bench boss Jon Cooper decides whether to play him. If he does play, the game will be Drouin’s fifth career NHL post-season contest – and the team will at the very least ask him not to play the high-risk-type hockey that led to a notable turnover against Hawks captain Jonathan Toews in the first period of Game 2. Cooper reduced the 20-year-old’s ice time for the remainder of the game, but the left winger remains an integral component of the team’s long-term plans and it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Drouin receives an opportunity Monday to show he’s learned his lesson.