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Line Changes Just Aint’ Enough

Posted By Kristin Dingman On Nov 10 2010 @ 11:17 pm In Chicago Blackhawks | 4 Comments

Does Joel Quenneville know his right from his left? Moving Patrick Kane from Right Wing to Left Wing may have seemed like a drastic move, but Kane’s lack of performance this year compared to last left Quenneville no choice but to revamp the lines. The splitting of the once hot defensive pairing Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook is one that sparked a lot of “hawk squawk”. Analysts and fans alike were wondering why a coach would split up such a feared pair of D-men. Maybe it’s the fact that Duncan Keith averages nearly two minutes of ice time more than any other player in the league, or maybe it’s the lack of performance amongst the first line. But, nonetheless, warming up in their sweet camouflage jerseys in honor of Veterans Day, the Blackhawks geared up to take on the Phoenix Coyotes.

Struggling to improve their own performance, the Coyotes chose to start the 0-3 Jason Labarbera between the pipes while the Hawks stuck with their own ancient artifact Marty Turco. Stalberg-Toews-Sharp was Chicago’s starting line but the Breakfast Club line, Kane (88)-Hossa (81)-Kopecky (82) seemed to be the line creating the most chances. But the Hawks third line was the first to tally one up after Bickell (3) slaps one in between Labarberas legs. Right around the midpoint of the first period it was obvious to the Blackhawks that Labarbera liked to give a lot of rebounds, so the hawks stole some plays out of the “drive and shoot and shoot again” playbook.   With no real excitement on Turcos side, making a whopping 4 saves on 4 shots, most the action took place in front of the Coyote net. At 5:35 left in the first Skille and Lepisto dropped the gloves to woo the crowd with a fight that sparked just enough excitement to get the Coyotes to challenge Turco for the first time in the game, ending the first with 4 SOG.

The second opened and seemed rather boring until Turris and Wolski drove down the ice and a slap and go got passed ol’ yeller (Marty Turco). And Turco should have worn his bifocals because 35 seconds later Belanger slapped another right passed him. Doesn’t take much to shake up a bag of bones, eh? Not too much happening in the third, the Hawks fell to the Coyotes 2-1. This has seemed to be the Hawks Achilles heel, the back to back unanswered goals by opposing teams has led to heart breaking loss after heart breaking loss. I don’t want to jump on the “blame the goalie” bandwagon, but come on! Turco has become notorious for giving up back to back goals. I guess now its ok for us all to question Joel Quenneville’s line changes; after all it didn’t do much. Which begs the question, what more do the Hawks need to do to find what they had last year? Will they ever find it? As a fan I hope they do, but the reality is, two months in to the season they have yet to show playoff potential.

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