Saturday, October 8, 2016
Andrew Desjardins out to ensure Blackhawks roster spot
When the Blackhawks practice, most of the team is red or blackhawks jerseys. Occasionally, coach Joel Quenneville the few players will wear white.
And like wearing white after Labor Day - you do not want if you can help.
Usually it is a sign that someone is at the bottom of the lineup rotation. There were no white jerseys in practice Friday, but there were a few out in Thursday's session. It was a surprise to see wearing one of them - versatile veteran striker Andrew Desjardins - given all the young prospects who are still here fighting for roster spots.
He looked like a figure entering the season Desjardins, 30, would have a safe place given its cap-friendly contract of $ 800,000 per season and his solid play for the Hawks as they traded for him in March 2015.
Desjardins was not sweating having to wear the white shirt, however.
"I'm not trying to read between the lines, not trying to be a psychic," Desjardins said. "I'm not trying to think about trying to break down what you're thinking. All I have to concentrate on what I'm doing and what my duties are and make them to the best of my ability."
Quenneville would not go so far as to say Desjardins had a place in the team - said Desjardins is "in the mix" - but also praise offered by Desjardins.
"The decision is probably not clear to us at this time exactly who will be here and who is not," Quenneville said. "But the only thing is that you like the way it competes. It comes from a very good game (on Tuesday) and he gives us some versatility in all three forward positions. You can kill penalties. We like the way racing and has some physicality to his game. "
With these attributes Desjardins seem to have first hand information on some of the greenest front.
He is ideal for a six defensive role, bottom and has demonstrated the ability to control threats score top team in the past. Its rate of 72.9 percent starting on defending force even last season, according to Hockeyreference.com, it is proof of that. That was second on the team behind center Marcus Kruger.
He is one of the players Quenneville can rely on the penalty kill, which is not always an easy thing to win.
Desjardins said having so many young players in the camp has added a dose of energy. He also knows that means you have to be at their best.
"I think it always feels (competition) in my role or my position," Desjardins said. "It is a constant competition.
"I do not think there is a time to feel too, is not comfortable, but too complacent about the situation."
You can not afford for life on the bubble.