ST. LOUIS – Kris Versteeg’s start to this postseason was pretty good. He had an assist in each of his first two games and nearly had the winner in Game 1, if not for a well-placed St. Louis forward in net.
Since then, however, Versteeg has been quieter. It’s been frustrating for the forward, who feels the chances are there; they’re just not connecting.
“Getting some opportunities and for whatever reason it hasn’t gone in,” Versteeg said. “But you just keep going. You stick to your game plan and eventually the ice will break and hopefully the floodgates open.”
Versteeg’s hoping it breaks soon, as the Chicago Blackhawks prepare for Game 5 against the St. Louis Blues on Friday night. Coach Joel Quenneville didn’t mind Versteeg’s game in Games 1-3 but said he needs to see more after Game 4.
“I thought he was fine the first three games. (Wednesday) I didn’t think he had the pace,” Quenneville said. “We’re looking for pace, strength in the puck area, so….”
So, the message is out there.
Versteeg’s been here before, as far as struggling out of the postseason gate. During the 2010 Stanley Cup run with the Blackhawks, Versteeg had a quiet first round against the Nashville Predators (two assists through six games). He produced more during the remaining postseason, including a three-point night in Game 5 against the Philadelphia Flyers in the Cup final.
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He’s hoping that postseason offense gets going again soon.
“I know in 2010, I didn’t score at all in the first series and after that the floodgates opened and (I) found a way to score more consistently,” Versteeg said. “I think you think about (scoring chances) a little more because you don’t get the amount of opportunities, maybe, you get in the regular season. Maybe it weighs on guys a little bit more. You’ve just got to stick with it.”