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Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks: An In-Depth Look at New Lineup Down the Stretch

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CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 22: Chicago Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton looks on in game action during the first period of a NHL game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the New York Islanders on January 22, 2019 at the United Center, in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 22: Chicago Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton looks on in game action during the first period of a NHL game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the New York Islanders on January 22, 2019 at the United Center, in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Chicago Blackhawks
COLUMBUS, OH – OCTOBER 20: Artem Anisimov #15 of the Chicago Blackhawks, Nick Schmaltz #8, Erik Gustafsson #56, Brent Seabrook #7 and Patrick Kane #88 celebrate after Kane scored during the third period of the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on October 20, 2018 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Chicago defeated Columbus 4-1. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

3. Kahun-Anisimov-Kane

This line is the most interesting line Colliton came up with. Aside from Patrick Kane earning less minutes, I like it a lot. Dominik Kahun is a skilled player with incredible hands. It isn’t a stretch to think him and Kane could develop some chemistry together playing against favorable matchups.

This line forces opposing teams to make a decision defensively. Patrick Kane is an unreal offensive talent who needs to be accounted for. This line will either see favorable matchups or create them for the top-six, either of which I’m okay with.

So long as Artem Anisimov manages to stay out of the way, I don’t mind this group together. Still, it’s hard not to have Patrick Kane playing top-six minutes. It’ll be interesting to see how Colliton handles the distribution of ice time.

4. Kunitz-Kampf-Kruger

Well, it’s great to see David Kampf back. The rest of the line I can more or less do without at this point.

Neither Chris Kunitz or Marcus Kruger are likely to be back next season, so the sooner Caggiula can return to bump Hayden back into this role the better. While there isn’t anything particularly exciting about this line, it’d be nice if Kampf can play well enough to not make this group a complete liability on the ice.

A guy can dream.

The reality of the situation is the Chicago Blackhawks need a lot of things to go right if they want to make a miraculous run into the playoffs. The alternative? A nose dive into the bottom of the league. Either is manageable, but the middle of the road isn’t.

This lineup seems to embody that do or die mentality.

Regardless of the way this season ends, these last 16 games will be huge for the Chicago Blackhawks. Though the fans might want to see them mail it in, this team will be fighting until the very end. Just ask Jonathan Toews.

"“I think we all realize these are our playoffs right now,” Toews said. “We have some guys in this room aside from myself that are getting a lot of ice time and a lot of pressure and have seen some tough, heavy games and never really make excuses. I don’t think fatigue should be an excuse.”"

Though the fans might want to see them mail it in, this team will be fighting until the very end. What else would you expect?

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Next. Analyzing Ward's Injury, Delia's Recall. dark

It isn’t real playoff experience, but it feels like it for the Chicago Blackhawks. Everyone wants to play meaningful hockey, and every game from here on out is more or less a must-win.

It doesn’t get anymore meaningful than that.

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