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Rozsival seeking defensive consistency in return to lineup

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival knew exactly what coach Joel Quenneville was referring to when he spoke Monday of needing more consistency from Rozsival.

“He’s talking about my defense,” Rozsival said after the team’s morning skate on Monday. “If you look at the stats the last two games I played, I was like a minus-5. I was not defensive, obviously. It was something to be corrected. For whatever reasons, obviously, I was a minus-5. That’s it. I think that says it all.”

Quenneville sent Rozsival a message by making him a healthy scratch the last two games. Rozsival will get a chance to prove himself again as he returns to the lineup against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.

Quenneville believes Rozsival can help the Blackhawks if he keeps his game simple.

“Just play,” Quenneville said. “I think offensively he’s got good patience with the puck. Defensively, let’s be consistent. ... Simplicity is probably the best way. Consistency is what we’re looking for.”

Rozsival mentioned being a minus-5 his last two games, but he wasn’t too critical of his own play. He thought that was up to the coaching staff to evaluate his play.

“I don’t know,” Rozsival said. “I never judge my play. That’s the coaches’ job. They let you know what they think. They do their thing when they see something. Sometimes you’re not going to have a great game all the time. I guess they felt like my game should be better. That’s why they made some lineup adjustments, and that’s why it is.”

Rozsival tried to look at the benefits of sitting out the last two games.

“Get myself ready, I’ve been working hard and get some rest as well,” Rozsival said. “Sometimes it helps refresh everything, reset. Hopefully today I feel good. Hopefully we can win this game, too.

“I was excited to be back in the lineup today. I just need to play good hockey. We need the points. We need to win. I’m here to try to do my best to help this team win some hockey games.”

Rozsival, David Rundblad and Trevor van Riemsdyk could be auditioning for the Blackhawks’ final defenseman spot on the right side leading up to the playoffs. The Blackhawks are expected to go with Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Johnny Oduya, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Kimmo Timonen as their five other defensemen.

“We’ll see how it all plays out,” Quenneville said. “I think they’re all capable of playing there and possibly more. We’ll sort that out between now and then.”