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Chicago Blackhawks: What are you doing, Coach Q?

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CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 12: Head coach Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks gives instructions to his team against the Winnipeg Jets at the United Center on January 12, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 12: Head coach Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks gives instructions to his team against the Winnipeg Jets at the United Center on January 12, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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After another dismal loss, coach Joel Quenneville has turned on the line blender.  The result is not very tasty.

In a series of tweets today, we’ve learned that the ‘Hawks will present all new forward lines tonight.

Saad-Toews-Duclair
Schmaltz-Anisimov-Kane
Bouma-Wingels-DeBrincat
Hinostroza-Kampf-Jurco

There are two possible approaches to the remainder of this abysmal season:

  • Play to win and hope to get into the playoffs
  • Accept the season is lost and develop the younger players

Well, these lines will help them accomplish neither of these two goals.

The numbers don’t lie

If you like statistics, Corsica’s charting of the ‘Hawks players in order of points per 60 minutes (P/60) indicates the line up for tonight will not produce.  If you take the highest to lowest forwards in this category, which tells you who is scoring at the highest rate.  They almost magically fall into place to give you forward lines that would look like this:

Hinostroza-Schmaltz-Kane
DeBrincat-Toews-Hartman
Saad-Kampf-Duclair
Sharp-Anisimov-Wingels

Every player is listed in order of P/60 except for the fourth line, at which point it is splitting hairs. These lines create the optimum combinations of production and put young players in positions to succeed.  DeBrincat with lowest P/60 players Bouma and Wingels derails the Cat’s upward trajectory.  Hinostroza on the fourth line is a waste of the exciting brand of hockey he has recently demonstrated. He needs to be playing more minutes and with top tier players.

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What is the message here?

I can’t even begin to fathom the reasoning behind the new lines.  Brandon Saad hasn’t produced all season after his explosive opening night performance.  There is no reason to believe he’s going to be the factor in the “We have to be better” mantra. If this is “Let’s roll” time, then getting the best producers playing together is the thing to do.

Next: Why Crawford Should Sit Out The Rest Of The Season

I picked a bad week to stop sniffing glue

There is a feeling of doom in my heart about watching tonight’s tilt.  But I will be there as always, looking for something good to happen. Yup, I’m a fan of this team.  Just a mad one right now.

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