Blackhawks News

Blackhawks Poll: Who Should Play First Line Center?

By Sean Fitzgerald

Mar 30, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik (44) and center Brandon Sutter (16) fight for the puck with Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw (middle) during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With the Blackhawks becoming a mash unit, Coach Quenneville must once again juggle his lines. Currently Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have been ruled for the rest of the regular season. With both stars being out the Blackhawks must rely on younger players. Teuvo Teravainen was called up to replace Kane’s spot in the lineup. Joakim Nordstrom was recalled yesterday to replace Jonathan Toews spot on the roster. With Toews not being able to center the first line until the playoffs, Coach Quenneville must insert someone else on the first line center position.

Of the centers’ the Blackhawks have left on their roster, Andrew Shaw makes the most sense to play 1st line center.  Shaw has been a center on almost every line this season.. With only 6 games remaining, the Blackhawks need to jump start their offense. The Blackhawks are desperate need of some greasy goals. In their last three games, all losses, the Blackhawks have scored just four goals. On the season, the Blackhawks lead the NHL with 248 goals scored, but the last three games did not reflect the top ranked offense. The best way to jump start the offense would be an igniter on the first line. Shaw can get the Blackhawks line going with his net front presence and his willingness to make a clean hit! Despite being on 5’11, Shaw is willing to sacrifice his body in front of the net.  Shaw has been one of the few consistent net presences this season. He also one of the few Blackhawks that hits people on a regular basis.

Shaw in his first full length NHL season has compiled 19 goals and 17 assists. He is a plus ten rating on the season and 0.49 points per game this season. Now Shaw is not the only option at 1st line center. Quennevile does have other options to consider. He could go with Michal Handzus, Marcus Kruger, or Peter Regin at the first line center position.

With that being said, who do you believe Coach Quenneville should play at 1st line Center?

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