Saturday, May 25, 2013
Hawks looking for more offense from stars
By Scott Powers
CHICAGO -- As much as the Chicago Blackhawks’ success this season has been thanks to their team effort, forward Patrick Kane said Saturday that it’s time for the team’s stars to step up.
The Blackhawks have scored just two goals -- both by Kane – over their past three games. The team’s biggest offensive weapons --Kane, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews -- have combined for four goals in the series. Toews has yet to score in the playoffs.
Kane said the Blackhawks realize they will need more offensive punch if they’re going to see another day as they face elimination in Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinal series against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.
“For sure, [we have to step up,]" Kane said. "We haven’t scored much lately. That’s not really what our team’s all about. We usually don’t have that problem of scoring goals. I don’t think we should worry about that again. Just worry about playing one hockey game and trying to get those chances.
“I think the biggest thing might be to not get frustrated if they’re not coming right away and stick with it and stay with the game. Because you know eventually you’ll get a couple of chances throughout a game to score. When we do get those, try to bury them.”
The team’s offensive desperation showed in Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville’s lines in Saturday’s morning skate. Quenneville has often liked to give his top two lines balance, but he stacked one line with Kane, Toews and Sharp on Saturday.
The trio didn't play together much this season, but they have had success together in the past.
“It’s exciting,” Kane said of the line. “I think a couple years ago we played together a lot and were really hot at one time, myself, [Sharp] and [Toews], scoring a lot of goals. Obviously, you don’t want to think about it. You want to think about getting chances and creating chances. Hopefully, it’ll be a fun game for us tonight.”
Quenneville skated one set of lines in the morning skate before Game 4 and went with a different set during the game, but Kane was optimistic he, Toews and Sharp would remain together.
Quenneville wouldn’t commit to the lines, but he spoke of what having Kane, Toews and Sharp together could mean for the team.
“They’ve played together in the past,” Quenneville said. “They’ve played together during the year, a few shifts here and there. I think they like playing together. We’ll see how it goes.”