Blackhawks: Shuffling the lines to try and spark offense at 5 on 5
The Chicago Blackhawks are trying to shake up their forward pairings to spark their five on five offense that has not done a lot this season.
Derek King, the Chicago Blackhawks interim head coach, is starting to shake things up more and more, and that starts with a lineup change that does actually change a few things for the team.
Let’s dive in with the lineup the team introduced at practice yesterday and that we should see today during the team’s game against St. Louis:
Brandon Hagel – Jonathan Toews – Patrick Kane
Alex DeBrincat – Kirby Dach – Dominik Kubalik
Philipp Kurashev – Henrik Borgstrom – Ryan Carpenter
Reese Johnson – Dylan Strome – Jujhar Khaira
Bringing Toews and Kane together definitely won’t hurt anything right now, especially considering how Toews has failed to produce offensively. Toews has eight assists through 19 games, but he has no goals during that time. The Hawks captain has 34 shots on goal through those games which is the sixth best total on the team, so pairing him with Kane should help as he is one of the teams best play makers.
I am not a fan of splitting up DeBrincat and Kane, but for a game or two I think it is a good experiment to see whether or not he can run his own line the same way Kane controls his. They won’t stay apart long but for a game or two it is worth while.
Dach, Kubalik, and DeBrincat are the next era of Hawks greats, and it is great to see them all together, although I think I wouldn’t have mind seeing Strome play with DeBrincat. The top six has a lot of good pieces, the bottom six does have some question marks though.
There are a few players missing from the lineup Tyler Johnson and Matthew Highmore have both been out with injuries, and Adam Gaudette has not been in the lineup since November 9th. It will be interesting to see when he gets another chance considering he was relatively strong during his last few games registering a goal and an assist through eight games.
The Blackhawks lineup is a work in progress. When watching the game against the Blues on Friday that should be at the thought when looking at the new lines the Hawks roll out. Hopefully the offense is sparked and the team scores some goals!
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