Blackhawks News

Where To Place Patrick Sharp When He Returns?

By Sean Fitzgerald

Nov 4, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp (10) before the game against Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhawks will welcome back Patrick Sharp to the roster soon. He just resumed skating with the team today. Sharp has been out with a lower body injury since November 4th. Sharp had been skating on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. Sharp had tallied nine points in 13 games before being injured. The Blackhawks were 5-1 on the Circus trip and appear to have all four lines rolling right along currently. With Sharp returning to the lineup soon, the Blackhawks will be faced with a decision of where to place him? Sharp most likely will not be returning to the first line with Hossa and Toews. Brandon Saad has filled in very well on that line.

The dynamic second line of Patrick Kane, Brad Richards, and Kris Versteeg has just gotten on track. Richards and Versteeg are enjoying career revivals playing with Kane. Richards had three goals and four points on the last road trip and Versteeg appears to be back to his old self. Coach Joel Quenneville would be stupid to breakup this line.

The third line features Andrew Shaw, Bryan Bickell, and Joakim Nordstrom. This might be the landing spot for Sharp when he returns. This line is more of a checking line but could use some more offensive firepower with Sharp. Sharp would be taking Nordstrom’s spot on the line. Nordstrom would then be sent back to Rockford. Sharp could also benefit from playing with Shaw being in front of the net.

The third line would be a great landing spot for Sharp. The truth of the matter is that Sharp could be penciled into any line and the Blackhawks should not miss a beat. With a team as talented as the Blackhawks, this tough decision is a luxury.

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