Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011
Posted: 6:40 p.m. Updated: 8:09 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com Blackhawks InsiderFollow @TraMyersCSN
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DETROIT -- It's no secret the Blackhawks are looking to find guys who can play center. Their depth there is the most shallow of any position.
But when coach Joel Quenneville said Sunday night that they might give Patrick Kane a shot there, it was nonetheless surprising.
Quenneville said Kane could play some center a few minutes after the Blackhawks lost a 4-3 shootout decision to the Detroit Red Wings. Quenneville was first asked about the potential of Michael Frolik playing at the position. Then he mentioned Kane.
"We might try that," he said of his right winger, who is healed after having left wrist surgery back in July. "He's been playing center throughout scrimmages and practices now and we'll see."
When asked if Kane was good with that possibility, Quenneville said, "he's not complaining." Quenneville said Kane has enough of a well-rounded game, including on defense, to give it a try.
"Defensively he's gotten better as he's grown in that position with us, down low on the walls," Quenneville said. "It's something we're going to at least take a look at."
Quenneville had said right before training camp began that he was going to try some different players at center. Obviously he wasn't kidding.
The Blackhawks were hoping that Marcus Kruger would fit in the center mix somewhere. And while Quenneville said Kruger got better as Sunday's game went along, it sounded as if Kruger still wasn't where the Blackhawks want him to be.
"He's been OK this camp," Quenneville said. "He could make plays and he sees plays. But his quickness and strength are things he has to improve on."
Quenneville was happy with Sunday's outing by Alex Salak, who stopped 30 of 33 shots. It was Salak's first full game with the Blackhawks.
"He's been good," Quenneville said. "He had an excellent second period and he was real strong in the third. He did a real good job for us."
Ray Emery will get his full-game opportunity on Friday when the Blackhawks host the Pittsburgh Penguins. Corey Crawford is likely to play the entire game Wednesday against the Detroit Red Wings.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.