Chicago Blackhawks Roundtable: First Line And Goaltender Starts

By Colin Likas
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 27: Richard Panik
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 27: Richard Panik /
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CHICAGO, IL – NOVEMBER 27: Richard Panik
CHICAGO, IL – NOVEMBER 27: Richard Panik /

The Chicago Blackhawks are facing concerns relating to the production of their first line and the use of their goaltenders in Corey Crawford’s absence

The Chicago Blackhawks closed out a brutal stretch of five games in seven days last night with a 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. Two of those tallies were empty-netters for the Kings, but the result still stands, and the Blackhawks have now lost four straight after a bit of a hot stretch.

One concern that has stood out in this recent stretch has been the lack of consistent offense from the Blackhawks’ first line. Indeed, coach Joel Quenneville seemed to notice this Sunday as well, since John Hayden replaced Richard Panik on the top line’s right wing midway through the contest.

Another concern, though much more obvious, is the absence of Corey Crawford due to injury. Anton Forsberg drew both of the starts this weekend ahead of J.F. Berube, and looked pretty effective in the process. But there’s an obvious concern, as Crow was dragging the Blackhawks through games.

That leads us to this week’s two Chicago Blackhawks roundtable questions.

Question 1: Do the Blackhawks need to break up the first line, and why or why not?

Question 2: How should the Blackhawks split goaltending starts between Forsberg and Berube and why?

Let’s see what our panel of esteemed Blackhawk Up experts had to say this week.