The strength of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013 was rolling all four lines, playing all four lines at anytime against any opponents line. It was really strange that during most of the regular last year when Coach Quenneville didn’t chase line changes. The Blackhawks if you look at the schedule have another shortened season between now and the Olympic break so maintaining health which Q did great last season will be huge again this season.
It is only one game, but let’s look into everyone’s ice time Tuesday Night.
The Top Line- They played a few minutes less than normal due to Hawks only having 4 powerplays while the Washington Capitals had the man advantage 6 times.
2nd Line- The two players that will be time managed the most are Handzus and Hossa. Handzus didn’t play most of the 2nd period which skewed his ice time.
3rd Line- It was a bit surprising to see that the #1 scorer on the night in Saad only played 14 minutes.
4th Line- They picked up the first goal of the season, but weren’t on the ice much together during the game due to 10 total powerplays
Defenseman- The biggest worry in this group always has to be over using Keith who already one game in has played 4 more minutes than Hjalmarsson.
Summary- It’s only one game but the lines seemed to be rolling until the endless powerplays began. The only thing that stands out is Keith playing more than everyone which of course is normal, but in a sprint to the Olympics keeping the Keith fresh will be key in the long run.
What do you think? Are you confident Q will manage ice time again this season?
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