Morin staying upbeat despite white jersey

CHICAGO -- Jeremy Morin found himself in the dreaded white Chicago Blackhawks jersey on Tuesday, meaning he's likely out of the lineup to begin the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Morin was disappointed not to be among the team's top four lines during practice at Johnny's IceHouse West on Tuesday, but he is hopeful coach Joel Quenneville will consider him in the coming weeks based on his recent play.

The Blackhawks open the playoffs on the road against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday.

"Obviously you want to be in the lineup, but honestly I can say I'm really excited to be here and just be a part of it," Morin said after practice. "I've never experienced playoffs before in pro hockey. I'm just really excited to be here and be around the guys. Anything I can do, I'm looking forward to the opportunity to be here.

"That's all I can try to do with the time I had, prove I can contribute in some way. Hopefully I put myself in an opportunity to get some time at some point, but I'm really excited to be here and looking forward to it."

Morin made his case for ice time over the past six games. Since being a healthy scratch on March 30, Morin responded with four goals and two assists over the final six games of the regular season.

Morin's possession numbers were also among the team's best during that period. He had a 66.2 Corsi percentage (the Blackhawks had 80 shots for, 41 against when he was on the ice) during the past six games. He didn't have a Corsi percentage lower than 57.1 in a given game during that span.

Quenneville spoke positively about Morin's recent play and left the door open to him playing at some point in the playoffs.

"I think [Morin] at the end of the year, he gave us some energy," Quenneville said. "He scored some big goals for us down the road. We'll see how that all works out."

Morin is on his fourth stint with the Blackhawks this season. He was last recalled from the Rockford IceHogs on March 21. He has six goals and six assists in 23 games in the NHL this season.

Morin believes his recent success improved his confidence, and he'll be ready if Quenneville chooses to play him in the playoffs.

"I think that helped out my confidence a bit, being able to contribute the last five games or whatever it was and have some success. If my name does get called, I'll be ready to play, bring some energy, but those games probably helped out with my confidence.

"I just need to stay ready, you never know what can happen. Obviously, I've been looking forward to being here and if my name is ever called, I'll be ready."

Blackhawks forward Ben Smith can attest to the fact anything can happen in the playoffs. He played in one regular-season game last season and found himself replacing Marian Hossa in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals due to an injury.

"That's what they tell you all along is to be ready," Smith said. "You never know what happens here with injuries. Hopefully we don't have any, but for [Morin] and everyone that is where I was last year, always be ready, always be prepared, stay in shape and do what you have to do, so you can step right in and try to contribute."