Bye bye, Superman Line: Blue Jackets at Blackhawks

By Jeffrey Bartl

"“It was fun while it lasted. I don’t know if it’s balancing out the lines or getting me back to my old position … but I’m happy with wherever they put me.” — Patrick Kane"

Well, that was exciting for a bit. But the Superman Line of Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Kaner is done — for now, anyway. Q moved Kane back to right wing and will start him on a line with Dustin Byfuglien on the left and Kris Versteeg at center. Patrick Sharp moves into Kane’s spot on the Toews line.

Q’s rational for the change derives from the ‘Hawks offensive ineptitude in a shutout loss to Anaheim and a mere one goal in regulation against Los Angeles. While the attempt to balance the offense between the lines seems logical, the Versteeg line doesn’t possess much defensive prowess in its own zone. There’s no doubt Columbus will take advantage of this and attempt to put Antoine Vermette’s line featuring asshole Rick Nash on the ice against Versteeg’s.

Not to mention, Versteeg is a paltry 25-for-73 (34 percent) on face-offs this season. Meh. The Versteeg-at-center experiment hasn’t lasted too long in the past, and Q has been known to jumble lines during games. Wouldn’t doubt if we saw some of the same tonight.

Despite all that, I’m still going to get a huge boner seeing Hossa wearing an Indian head in person. When his name is announced, the crowd is going to go nuts. How fitting would it be for Hossa to score a hat trick on Knit Hat Giveaway Night? I know I’m hoping for a lot, but remember construction hat night last season when Toews got his hat trick — twice? The carnage of ice girls won’t be the same with head condoms flying out there, but it would be fun nonetheless.

Speaking of hat tricks, R.J. Umberger tickled twine thrice against St. Louis last night in the Blue Jackets’ 5-2 win against the Blues. Columbus currently sits five points back of the ‘Hawks, but are only 4-4-2 in their last 10 and recently dropped all five games on a road trip. The Jackets aren’t playing all that well, so they’re prime for the taking.

A couple of notes:

  • This game also marks the return of Sammy Pahlsson to the United Center. I remember how upset we all seemed when Pahlsson left for Columbus on the first day of free agency. Luckily John Madden has played so insanely well I’ve forgotten Pahlsson even played for the ‘Hawks.
  • Forklift at Hockee Night publicly stated on the Blackhawk Up Facebook fan page: “I’m not gay, but for John Madden, I’d be willing to experiment.” Right on, Fork. I would definitely drink his bath water. My non-sexual crush has reached it’s max.
  • The Blackhawks are returning to the United Center, meaning I’ll be returning to my usual spot — Section 326, Row 12, Seat 11. Short blonde guys with a Droid like beer. Just sayin’. Also, both meatheads from Hockee Night will be in attendence, so I’m sure we’ll have a meeting of the dirty minds during an intermission.


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