Chicago Blackhawks: PatrickSharp
Coach Joel Quenneville said that possibility could be a reality when Toews returns from a concussion possibly as soon as Thursday when the Hawks take on the Minnesota Wild.
“I don’t want to change too much the looks of the lines or the personnel on the lines,” Quenneville said after practice on Tuesday. “Let’s hope that Johnny coming in gives you a different look as far as an option of where he’s going to fit. That [Toews/Kane/Hossa] has been talked about but what we’ll see.”
But the problem with the scenario of Toews, Kane and Hossa together is that the latter two are most comfortable on right wing. It means one would have to move to the left side. Kane has tried it for a few games in the past, but it didn’t work out. Hossa has played exclusively on the right side as a Blackhawk and is known as a more “particular” player when it comes to his line-mates and where he plays. It might not be an ideal switch for one of them but think of the firepower.
Again, all this is a possibility because of the chemistry between Kruger, Sharp and Stalberg. They’ve been the hottest trio on the Hawks.
“That’s a good problem to have,” Toews said. “Those three have been playing well...I’m not expecting anything. I just want to be a part of the team again. Hopefully I can make a difference.”
How strange is it to hear Toews talk about trying to fit in? That’s how well most of the offense has clicked in the time he’s been out. After adjusting to his loss over the first four games without him -- the Hawks went 1-3 -- they’ve gone 11-2-3 since.
“Maybe I’ll let Kane do the dirty work once in a while but I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Toews joked of playing together again.
It’s worth a try over the next two games to see if it can work. And to see if the second line continues its dominance. Quenneville can change things after one shift if he wants. But the question remains, which winger lines up on the left side?
Hawks on Twitter
“It’s something different,” Bickell said Tuesday. “I know the fans like it. See what we’re doing every day. It’s just kind of neat .These young guys got me into it.”
They join Brandon Bollig (@Bollig87), Jimmy Hayes (@Jimmy10Hayes), Andrew Shaw (@shawz15er), Patrick Kane (@88pkane), Viktor Stalberg (@VStalberg), Dan Carcillo (@carBombBoom13), Sami Lepisto (@SamiLepisto), Jamal Mayers (@jamalmayers) as other Hawks who like to tweet.
“I probably won’t be doing it too much,” Leddy said. “I’ll let @shawz15er talk for me.”
• Several players were missing from an optional practice on Tuesday. Andrew Brunette was one of them but Quenneville says he should be ready for Thursday. He missed Sunday’s game with a leg injury.
• Defenseman Sami Lepisto says he’s near 100 percent recovered from a left leg ailment sustained on March 6.
“He would be getting some good consideration,” Quenneville said. “We’d like to play him before the end of the season.”
“The whole time you’re going through the nine game losing streak you keep telling yourself this is going to pay off somewhere down the road,” -Toews, on his team’s record over the last 20 games without him.