It is starting to become evident that Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville has no idea what line combinations can break his team out of their recent scoring funk. He proved that by once again shaking up his lineup at today’s morning skate in North Carolina.
All four lines as well as all three defensive pairings had different looks today as the Blackhawks prepare for tomorrow night’s game versus the Hurricanes.
Coach Q has reunited the top line we saw on opening night as for the first few games with Jonathan Toews centering Brandon Saad and Richard Panik.
Artem Anismov is back as Patrick Kane’s center on the second line and they are joined by Nick Schmaltz on the left wing, who appears that he will play his first game out of the middle tomorrow night.
The third line featured Tommy Wingels with Ryan Hartman on his right side. Patrick Sharp and John Hayden alternated rushes on the left side making you think one of the two is out versus the Hurricanes. Based on recent play, Sharp could find himself in the suite with the team moms.
Tanner Kero has not played since October 19’s overtime loss versus the Edmonton Oilers, but it sure looks like he will draw back in on Saturday. Kero centered the fourth line in between Lance Bouma and Alex DeBrincat.
On the back end, Quennville had Duncan Keith with Cody Franson, Gustav Forsling with Jan Rutta and Connor Murphy remained on the left side with Brent Seabrook. Michal Kempny and Jordan Oesterle remain the odd men out.
Anton Forsberg will start in goal, meaning Corey Crawford will get the start versus the New Jersey Devils at the United Center on Sunday.