Blackhawks Mixing Lineup Again

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has his blender back in action at the morning skate on Tuesday as the Blackhawks try to shake their way out of a prolonged struggle to begin the season.

The more intriguing rearrangement appears to be coming on the blue line. Here’s what the Hawks had in practice on Tuesday:

Duncan Keith – Cody Franson
Jan Rutta – Brent Seabrook
Michal Kempny – Connor Murphy

Quenneville has been pleased with Franson’s play, but efforts to keep all eight defensemen on the NHL roster in the mix has left him in the press box more nights than not. Franson has only appeared in three games but has two assists.

Kempny had two assists in the Hawks’ most recent loss and has three helpers in nine appearances this season.

Rutta has been terrific, but has skated primarily on the right side. Moving him to the left side would help; Gustav Forsling has struggled at times and an upper-body issue will likely keep him from being available for Wednesday night’s game against Philadelphia.

Quenneville is also playing with his forward lines as well.

Brandon Saad – Nick Schmaltz – Patrick Kane
Alex DeBrincat – Jonathan Toews – Richard Panik
Patrick Sharp – Artem Anisimov – John Hayden
Lance Bouma – Tommy Wingels – Ryan Hartman

Saad moving to the line with Schmaltz and Kane makes that line more intriguing, and DeBrincat will get some more run with Toews but on the captain’s left side.

38 thoughts on “Blackhawks Mixing Lineup Again

  1. If Toews is going to take a backseat to Schmaltz can we officially be concerned? Whoa didn’t think I’d see that

  2. Last year Toews’ slow start was related to a back injury he was dealing with after the World Cup tournament that took place prior to the season starting. Unless there is some other injury we don’t know about, the lack of production should be concerning. It’s going to take another hot stretch like he had last year to reachthe 580 pts he had last year. At some point, if the hot stretch doesn’t come, he ends up a 40-something point guy.

  3. Toews will still be taking 50% of faceoffs, a mainstay on both special teams and play his 20 mins. a game as Kane does from 2nd line. This is not a demotion only a way to look for a spark and maybe change some matchups.
    Rutta playing right side is good if he can handle it and allows Murphy over Oesterle while Forsling out at least.

  4. Rutta is listed as a right handed shot as Duncan Keith is left.
    I think that Keith as mentor to Rutta is what is needed for optimal development
    of a good future top line D man (soon).
    Franson is also a right handed shot so swap them out and leave Seabrook on 2nd line.

  5. Q- Might as well close his eyes and throw darts at a board to pick next lineup

    Franson- Has been best looking PP – D guy this year…

    Sharp- is really chasing the game… just can’t get it done anymore

    How many Times will we see Toews make the Sha-grimmace face Wed.???

    DCat- would work best with Kane– 100%… BUT- with Schmaltz- that line would be Terrible in D zone for long periods of time…. So Q is rightfully scared…
    Only Center that might work w them– would be Toews… which would screw up other lines/Q-tactics… so Q scared to try it… but He needs to

  6. It’s about time Q got a “red ass”!! Somebody has to make sure this team starts to play with more enthusiasm and passion.

  7. You know what they say about pigs with lipstick. They’re still pigs. That what I think about all the lineup changes.

  8. So if Q gets fired who replaces him Jeremy Colliton ?!
    I believe Q is at fault but Little Stan is right up there! His trades and contracts ended this dynasty IMO.
    Who is there to fill Little Stan, his daddy?
    Toews and the core should also be taking the heat.
    Heard they where laughing and joking after practice which isn’t a good sign after doing laps.

  9. Hey Demo, if you have a few drinks, a pig with lipstick might start looking good. I guess I’ll have a few drinks during the game tomorrow.

  10. If this team is taking practice lightly after the way they’ve played lately where’s the captain. I love Toews always have but kick some butt and get these guys in line.

  11. So if Debrincat screws up playing with Kane and Schmaltz and screws it up for Toews, why is he on this team. Makes no sense. What will it take to give him time in AHL for a season or 2!
    And to hear Coach Q speak about Franson so glowingly is scary! Starting to sound like our crappy GM selling his cap trade issues!
    Why is left handed dman Carl Dalhstrom not being called up to replace Forsling. A former 2nd round pick by our genuis amateur scout and Gm in 2012 deserves a look before he gets traded in a cap related move next year. What about GUSTAFSON?

  12. Until Forsling is put on IR there is no roster spot to call up a replacement. There is also a good chance Snuggerud would be the first leftshot Dman recalled if it were to happen or since they have 8 D now a forward might get the call.

  13. WOW, coach Q reading my comments reuniting CUP winning linemates KANE and SAAD minus Brad Richards plus Schmaltz!!! Finally, seeing the potential and the reality that these are your top three forwards by a mile.
    Only difference is I had SHARP TOEWS PANIK (Debrincat in AHL)
    JURCO gets a call up!
    Hey, it’s a good new start for COACH Q or Mr.MOVEMBER!!! SHarp has always played well with Toews! Hopefully, during the game Q figures it out against the Flyers.
    Now after Debrincat goes to Rockford, Q will give Jurco a chance and then replace Bowman’s boys Wingels and Bouma by Hinostroza and Iacopelli.
    Now that’s a fun lineup to watch and grow in time for the playoffs!

    20 8 88
    14 19 10
    13 15 40
    Iac Hino Hartman

    Go Hawks

  14. 12/19/14 is the 1st line.

    Donot let it go to your head.

    Having 4 right hand shot defenseman is fine when there 4 of your best 6 available.

    What a find in Rutta he plays good on left side.

  15. Yeah Mo if Rutta is 2nd leftD pair capable it opens opportunities to ease Murphy in with Keith, with Franson available to take some pressure off him and help on PP as well.

  16. The Q is peeved narrative is a joke. Guys just late to beers and burgers for lunch by ten minutes. Who’s kidding who, a total act.

    El Giza, if Q is fired. I can here Gene Honda yelling it into the microphone now.
    “The Blackhawks are proud to welcome back two time Stanley Cup champ and long time Blackhawk, Daryl Sutter ”

    It would be a purely crack the whip, short term move, in which he would truly bust the players asses for the rest of the year and with McDonough calling the shots isn’t all short term ?

  17. Count me in as one who thinks Murphy should play everyday, perhaps with Keith. Speed/possession guy with bigger stay at home physical guy. From what I have seen from Rutta, he doesn’t need much mentoring.
    I am also one that thinks Seabrooke should get some days off to give him time to recuperate. Some one mentioned that he doesn’t because he wears one of the A’s. Is that true or is he considered one of the core and should play every game? Or a combination of both?

  18. I would like to see a PP combination with 12 out there wuth 8 and 88 and say 14 or 15 for net front presence that would be missing 5 on 5 and one dman. The other unit could be 10 19 20 and a 4th fwd or 2 D.

  19. scape·goat
    ?sk?p???t/
    noun
    1.
    a person who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others, especially for reasons of expediency.

    The new one seems to be Debrincat for a couple of people–he has 5 points moving all over the line-up. Keep him up or send him down, whatever, but find some new material to help fix what’s going on.
    OKAY, WOW (lol)

  20. Ian- agree with Dcat on PP… he should take over for the Void 72 left on LW circle… might have the most accurate one-timer on team now…

    Another Must on PP– Is Franson- he actually has great patience- in limited viewing on PP…

    PP liabilities- Seabroke– guy CANNOT defend any blocked shot or fumble going the other way… 7 knows it… so he is QB’ing the PP in Defensive fashion versus an attacking fashion… because – he knows it’s a break away , the other way on any miscue!!!

  21. ….hard to watch the Blackhawks right now…..whatever was wrong with them last season has not been corrected…a few sparks in some new faces but core players are not leading the way….hard to believe Hossa was so important to this team at his age but is sorely missed and Toews is still sputtering after concussion injury…I have no solution but we are seeing the reasons why the Blackhawks were eliminated in four games of the first round……maybe aquiring a goaltender like Peka Rinne might extend the winning ways of a now aging championship team……

  22. There are a few pieces the Blackhawks are playing right now with every intention of moving them (read: 8 defensemen). The way the forwards are performing may impact the deal they make out of the depth on the blue line.

  23. Tend to agree Tab especially if Rutta is viable on left side with Seabrook as a 2nd pairing. Nobody will play Keith minutes alone on right but if Murphy and Franson can combine for solid minutes there with Murphy playing more 1st as he gets comfortable with it. It would make dealing either Kempny or Forsling likely inevitable and Oesterle being the 7th guy.

  24. I like Coach Q’s new first line of Saad Schmaltz and Kane. It has a big left winger with skill, speed and grit. Schmaltz is extremely creative as a centre and Kane remains the Hawks number one player. And I agree , let Murphy grow or find out if he can play in the NHL by pairing him up with Keith or at least top 4!
    I admit, I am one who is not impressed by the young Debrincat and I am a little surprised why he has not been sent down to get some seasoning. He is a step too slow and his lack of size is a factor. Time to try someone else.

  25. Let’s hope Q has come up with something for the PP, It’s concerning when the Hawks PP has been his poor. Its also concerning to see Toews take a backseat to Schmaltz and to have Murphy sitting in the box regularly.

    However what is NOT concerning is where this team is at. This is an extremely flawed group; a Dynasty in its final stages. The Hawks are likely a Wildcard team now. They don’t control possession, they don’t have any CORSI studs, their PK is average and their PP is horrible. This is your 2017 Hawks team.

    The Preds and Blues have passed them by and if the Mild hasn’t passed them yet they slowly will with an abundance of prospects in the pipeline.

    In 24 months this whole org will be turned over. Starting with Q who knows if he gets another extension or even chooses to sign one. This already looks like a long season and we are only 12 games in. Next year will be 10 seasons here and he will be 61 when his contract ends. Crow will be 34 and in his final yr of his contract. Only 9 players including Crow will be on the books and Saad and Arty(if he is still here) will have only 1 yr left on their deals. The biggest questions that season will likely be on which of the core guys will retire 1st. On the plus side in 2 yrs only 4 more seasons of Seabroke and 2 more of Murphy. LOL

  26. I believe it is important for the Hawks to give Sharp some top 6 minutes. He does have history with Toews and much more experience than Debrincat. He still has a great shot and grit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *