May 27, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) controls the puck between Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler (4) and center Ryan Getzlaf (15) in the third period in game six of the Western Conference Final of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Q found a deadly line combination. When Kane jumped to a line with Toews and Saad early in Game 6, you could almost hear a choir singing “Hallelujah” in the background. Actually, that might have been Kane himself. That line clicked the entire evening playing against Getzlaf, Perry and Patrick Maroon, who combined for a -9 in the plus/minus department. The trio was making things happen left and right, and you can bet Q will go back to it for Game 7 after that level of success.
There is the difficulty in matchups, of course. Boudreau will likely try to get Kesler’s line out against Toews again, especially after the new Toews line scorched the Getzlaf line, and after Marcus Kruger and friends had their way with Kesler’s line in Game 6 (to the tune of 10 scoring chances to three, in favor of Chicago). But Saad-Toews-Kane is a bull of a line, and just putting Kesler out against Toews won’t be the end of it. We all saw it during Game 6: Toews, Kane and Saad just refused to be denied over and over again.
Plus, with those three handling the Kesler line, it opens up the other three Chicago lines for some fine matchups. Kruger, Shaw and Andrew Desjardins have already shown during these playoffs they can handle Getzlaf’s line. The third line of Patrick Sharp, Antoine Vermette and Teuvo Teravainen is just a puck possession beast no matter what it comes up against. And the newly minted second line…well, Brad Richards has been great at the dot, Hossa is Hossa, and Bryan Bickell looked a little rejuvenated in Game 6 after possibly receiving some terrifying hate mail following the previous game. The point is, the ’Hawks are a many headed monster, and one that’s getting very close to firing on all cylinders. With the new trio of Saad-Toews-Kane leading the way, along with a locked-in Keith from the back end, the Ducks will struggle to find an answer in Game 7.
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