Editorials

Joel Quenneville Needs To Bench Line Blender For A While

By Keith Schultz
WINNIPEG, MB - DECEMBER 14: Head Coach Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks looks on from the bench during second period action against the Winnipeg Jets at the Bell MTS Place on December 14, 2017 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)
WINNIPEG, MB - DECEMBER 14: Head Coach Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks looks on from the bench during second period action against the Winnipeg Jets at the Bell MTS Place on December 14, 2017 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Blackhawks are on a four game winning streak, and if you ever wanted Joel Quenneville to retire his line blender there is one play that shows the importance of player playing together. 

One of the things I miss about old time hockey is the fact that lines stayed together not just for a winning streak or part of hot streak, but back in the day lines stayed together for years.

My favorite line of all-time was the Denis Savard line with Steve Larmer and Al Secord.  The line had everything from Savard’s Flair to Secord’s toughness with a sniper on the other wing.

There have been other great lines in Chicago Blackhawks history. There was the M.P.H. line of Dennis Hull, Pit Martin and Jim Pappin. They played together for 7 years and they put up some great numbers during their time together.  There was something special about their bond off the ice which made it great on the ice.

Another great line in Chicago Blackhawks history was the Scooter line anchored by Stan Mikita with Kenny Wharram and Ab McDonald.  These lines produced short term and long term because they played together all the time.

I know that is a long introduction to say that Coach Joel Quenneville needs to keep his lines together to start building the same kind of cohesiveness.  Coach Q never messed with Artem Anisimov, Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane and look what they were able to do for two seasons.

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If there is one play that shows what they are capable of doing together after playing with each other for sometime, look no further than Thursday nights game.

Nick Schmaltz picked up a rebound from a Connor Murphy shot, and he blindly passed it over to Patrick Kane for a tap in goal.

So after the game Nick Schmaltz was asked if he knew Patrick Kane would be there waiting for the pass, and Schmaltz said no but he figured he would be somewhere in that area.  That’s the kind of goal playing together brings.  Just sensing where your teammates are because you’ve been skating with them day after day and game after game.

Next: Jordan Oesterle will be facing a lot of Challenges soon!

Joel Quenneville needs to keep the lines together win or lose to build something bigger and better this season than just a four game winning streak!

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