The biggest thing the Kris Versteeg trade will do for the Chicago Blackhawks besides provide more depth in the special teams department, and we sure know the penalty kill is not where it was last season, is provide Joel Quenneville something that had been missing since the end of last season.
Versteeg will provide Quenneville the luxury of rolling four lines again and having a very dominant third line that will be better than any other teams third line in the NHL. Even though Viktor Stalberg was the President and CEO of Joel Quenneville’s dog house last year, the Stalberg-Shaw-Bickell line was dominating for the entire shortened season. When Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa were injured they brought up players to play on the top two lines after Bickell didn’t click with the Captain and Patrick Kane midway through the shortened season. That’s how good they were in the regular season that they didn’t break up a 3rd line!
Now with the top 2 lines playing great hockey, Quenneville has been messing with the 3rd line with Sheldon Brookbank and Jeremy Morin getting cracks at it, but somewhere during the game there would be Patrick Kane double shifting on the third line. With Versteeg with Shaw and Bickell there will be no need for double shifting by #88 and this third line can do some real damage.
I still have it on the DVR right after the Hawks won the Cup at Quenneville’s press conference that one of the secrets to the season was having the ability to roll all four lines all season long. There is no telling what Q had against Morin at times, but now he has Versteeg and the ability to roll four lines with someone he knows and has the ability to put pucks in the net and play any position the Hawks need on the ice.
Versteeg-Shaw-Bickell may be an expensive third line, but put them up against anyone else’s third line in the NHL and most nights the Hawks are going to win this battle, and that is what makes last nights trade so exciting!
The Blackhawks have already turned the corner with their play especially offensively and now they are about to begin to dominate games. The top line is already dominating play on the ice, and expect the new third line to take dominating hockey games for the Hawks to a new level!
How much more excited are you to watch the Hawks on Saturday now?
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