Coach Joel Quenneville unveiled some new line combinations are practice on Tuesday 4/15/14. We are unsure of how long these lines will last because we all know Coach Quenneville loves to change up his lines.
Top Line: Kris Versteeg-Jonathan Toews-Brandon Saad
Coach Quenneville is matching a inconsistent Versteeg with the always solid Toews. Versteeg shouldn’t even be playing in my mind. Saad and Toews played so well together last year that this move makes sense. Toews despite his absence from the lineup should be able to get Saad going again. Saad has struggled since suffering an upper body injury late in the season.
Coach Quenneville said this about his line: “(Saad) has played with Johnny a lot the last couple years. Steeger, as well, has played in some big situations. We’ll see how that all works out,” Quenneville said. “They certainly have the capability of working well together. That line looked pretty good together.” This quote is courtesy of CSN Chicago.com
Second Line: Patrick Sharp- Michal Handzus-Marian Hossa
Coach Quenneville is putting Handzus on the second line much to dismay of every Blackhawks fan. Handzus has struggled this season BUT, he was great on the second line last playoffs with Sharp. He also has a chemistry with Hossa. The motto on this line is “IF ain’t broke don’t fix it”. Until Handzus fails in the playoffs, the Blackhawks will roll with him on the second line.
Third Line: Bryan Bickell-Andrew Shaw-Patrick Kane
Patrick Kane on the third line, stop the presses! This move makes sense in my mind. Shaw is a physical player and Bickell has size. They will be on the ice to protect Kane from the Blues. The Blues have David Backes and Steve Ott who are scum and will take runs at Kane. Kane also will be able to adjust back to playing at the NHL level with Shaw and Bicks. I personally like this line combination for a game or two.
“Yeah, I thought all the lines have comparable ingredients with the ability to score and play without the puck as well,” Quenneville said. This quote is courtesy of CSN Chicago.com
Fourth Line: Brandon Bollig, Marcus Kruger, Ben Smith
This line knows it role and has been consistent all season. They will give the Blackhawks a jolt when they need it and can be relied upon. I expect big things from Ben Smith this playoffs.
Where is Jeremy Morin?? Jeremy Morin deserves a spot on a line during this playoffs. He has outplayed Kris Versteeg and brings the physicality the Blackhawks will need against the Blues.
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