Blackhawks: Will Colliton Keep Kane With Dach and DeBrincat?
By Ryan Swanger
Maybe the only positive that came out of the Game 2 loss against the Oilers was the preview of the Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat, Kirby Dach line. The problem is how uneven it makes the rest of the Blackhawks lineup.
After Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Qualifying round, the spirits were high around the Chicago Blackhawks fandom. Now, after a grueling defeat in Game 2, people are back to being restless. The positive news is Drake Caggiula is coming back to the lineup for Game 3 from being suspended in Game 2, meaning Patrick Kane won’t have to start double shifting in the first period again.
The question becomes will Jeremy Colliton keep Kane with what was Caggiula’s line in Game 1. The line of Dach, Kane, and DeBrincat looked extremely strong in Game 2 and was one of the few bright spots while watching the game.
The issue was taking Kane away from Strome and Nylander showed just how weak that line really is. Strome ending up being an excruciating dash 4 last night and Nylander looked completely lost on the ice.
The sacrifice that Colliton would have to make by putting Kane on that line would leave a new third line of Strome, Nylander, and Caggiula as a liability on the ice. It would force the Blackhawks to cut down to three lines early, as they did in Game 2. This is a major issue when you are going against a team as fast as the Oilers are.
When playing a team with that much speed you need to have all four lines rolling to spread the responsibility. Personally, I loved Kane with Dach and DeBrincat, but I can’t see how the Hawks can roll four lines out in Game 3 if that line stays together. If that line is together at all in Game 3 expect it to be in special situations and not the whole game.
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This will be an interesting story to follow not just in Game 3 of this Stanley Cup run, but going into next year for the Blackhawks too. Let me know what you think of that line and what you think Colliton should do with the lines for Game 3 on Wednesday against the Oilers.