Blackhawks: Can Chicago’s Offense Match-Up with McDavid and Draisaitl?

Duncan Keith #2, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
Duncan Keith #2, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /
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Matthew Highmore, Chicago Blackhawks
Matthew Highmore #36, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /

Third and Fourth Lines

The third line for Chicago will be the biggest risk-reward in the entire lineup.  The Blackhawks are rolling out Caggiula and Debrincat centered by Kirby Dach. Debrincat had been practicing on the first line but was moved down to the third in the exhibition game. Then the biggest buzz around the Blackhawks training camp with the improvement of Kirby Dach. The biggest observation of Kirby Dach is how big he looks compared to before the break. He did look better on the defensive side of the puck and had a great assist on the power play.  If it shows in these games the third line will be a difference-maker for the Blackhawks.

This is also the line that has the biggest chance to be exploited by the top two lines of the Oilers. They are young with no playoff experience. They have been practicing against the Kane line to be prepared to face these top lines. The chance for the Oilers to win is attacking this line with their Draisaitl or McDavid line.

The Oilers will roll out Sheahan, Athanasiou, Archibald. This line like most of the Oilers team is about speed, speed, and speed. You will have to expect the Blackhawks will try to match the Kane line against them.

The fourth line for both teams is going to be game by game. Both teams will move players in and out of the lineup based on the needs of the previous game. The Blackhawks will use it as a defensive grinder line stabled by Carpenter with their main job will be to stop the Draisaitl line. The Oilers have a true goal score in James Neal on the line. You would expect to see him on special teams and move around the lineup due to his devastating shot.