As the Blackhawks continue looking for answers to their slide, the roster shuffling continues. At least this time it’s a player getting healthy that’s forcing the issue.
According to coach Joel Quenneville, Dave Bolland will return to the lineup on Saturday. With that information in hand, this appears to be the lines:
- Viktor Stalberg – Jonathan Toews – Patrick Sharp
- Patrick Kane – Dave Bolland – Marian Hossa
- Bryan Bickell – Fernando Pisani – Jack Skille
- Tomas Kopecky – Jake Dowell – Troy Brouwer
The “Kane At Left Wing Experiment” has been tried and failed before, and it only lasted two periods on Wednesday. We’ll see how long these lines stick on Saturday. In addition to these moves up front, the changes made to the blue line appear to be sticking around as well. This isn’t to say that there is one “top” pair; the ice time seemed to indicate that Quenneville was comfortable splitting ice time evenly across the board (when he wasn’t keeping Duncan Keith on the bench because of poor play). Keeping these pairs as-is means Keith and Brent Seabrook will stay separated.
The defensive pairs for Saturday will remain:
- Brent Seabrook – Niklas Hjalmarsson
- Brian Campbell – Jassen Cullimore
- Duncan Keith – Nick Boynton
On Wednesday night, Marty Turco got the start and allowed two goals on 20-something shots, which was the master plan when the veteran goaltender was signed as a free agent this summer. But when the offense disappears after scoring one goal, anything short of a shutout is becoming a loss.
The encouraging part of this set-up, which was initially rolled out during practice on Tuesday, is that John Scott and Jordan Hendry were skating together as the fourth defensive pair… meaning they won’t be active. We hope the Hawks keep those two off the ice.