Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks Coach Jeremy Colliton Trying Drastically New Lineup

By Samuel Boland
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 08: Chicago Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton during a game between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Chicago Blackhawks on November 8, 2018, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 08: Chicago Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton during a game between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Chicago Blackhawks on November 8, 2018, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Chicago Blackhawks
CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 25: Alexandre Fortin #84 of the Chicago Blackhawks turns with the puck next to Marc Staal #18 of the New York Rangers at the United Center on October 25, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Rangers 4-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Line 2: Fortin-Anisimov-Hayden

This line has two people who can occupy real estate in front of opposing team’s nets and one player who’s fresh out of the AHL trying to learn the ropes at the NHL level.

Alexandre Fortin is quick and has shown great promise to start the season, but is he really who should be leading the charge offensively on your second line? Artem Anisimov is at his best playing with Kane and John Hayden certainly doesn’t bring a tremendous amount of offensive talent to this line.

It’s worth noting that should Saad play tonight it’s a fair assumption that he will be replacing Hayden on this line.

This move would unquestionably raise the ceiling for this second line. Saad and Fortin are both players who play solid north-south style games. Additionally, Anisimov and Saad are two solid defensive forwards so there’s a strong potential for odd-man rushes to be generated because of the defensive talent and speed present on this line.

Issue is, someone needs to be able to put the puck in the net at the end of the opportunity.

Saad and Fortin alike have struggled with that this year, however Saad has shown flashes of his ability to score recently. If Saad were to slot into this line, he’d presumably be their no. 1 option offensively. A nod like that from his new coach could be the confidence booster he needs to get going again.

It’s a bit of a double edged sword with Kane moved to the first line as there’s more pressure on this group to produce offensively in his absence. This move forces Saad to step up, but we will see if he’s actually up to the task.

The offensive approach has the potential to become even more top-heavy should this line not succeed in Kane’s absence. Time, of course, will tell.

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