Blackhawks

Kane shifting to the left

727702.png

Kane shifting to the left

Patrick Kane was going up and down the ice at his familiar quick pace albeit on a less-than-familiar side of the line. The right wingercenterright wingcenter was on the move again, this time to the left wing.

Although Kane apparently had a different idea on who should play there.

He mentioned, Can you ask Johnny (Toews) to play left wing today? coach Joel Quenneville said with a laugh. That was Kaners line.

Its musical-chair time again for Kane who, when Toews does return, will be playing left wing. This is a very different move for Kane, who has only played that spot sparingly in his career. But as with his move to center, with which he was more familiar, Kane took it in stride.

Its just a position, he said. Its a little different, and maybe a couple of times here and there Ive played it. I just want to play with the puck, work hard. Especially with the skill we have, it seems like it could be a fun line.

Indeed, with Kane, Toews and Marian Hossa together at the top, it could be a very potent line. Kane and Hossa formed great chemistry when Kane centered the top line, and Quenneville wanted to keep the two of them together when Toews returned. That, and hes liking the rest of his lines as they are.

Its something we havent tried but we will try, he said. All the other lines are in order and have done a good job down the stretch, so we dont want to tinker too much with the lines. That (top) line should, or could, work.

Theyll have a few days to practice it, as the Blackhawks and Phoenix Coyotes dont begin their first-round series until Thursday. Kane said hell use the time wisely.

Its good that we have a few practices to get adjusted; its fine, Ill get used to it, he said. You look at the other lines: (Dave) Bollands line been paying good, (Marcus) Krugers line been our best the past couple of weeks. With that (top) line its been in and out with left wingers, so when Johnny comes back Ill fill the slot there.

Patrick Sharp, whos played all three forward spots himself, said Kane will adjust just fine just like he did at center.

Its just getting used to catching passes on forehand instead of the backhand and entering the zone a little different, Sharp said. That was my spot the last few years, playing all the different places. And now hes going through it. Hats off to him. Hes done a great job at it.

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

2-21_forsberg_usat.jpg
AP

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

It was a rare sight to see the Blackhawks in a shootout on Wednesday night.

It was just the second time this season — and first time at the United Center — that the Blackhawks made it past 3-on-3 overtime. 

The last came on Dec. 2, 2017, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Stars in Dallas. On Wednesday night, the Blackhawks were on the other end, beating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in a seven-round shootout. Nick Schmaltz netted the game-winner.

"We'll take it," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we had a decent game tonight. Overtime not so good, I liked the shootout victory, Fors made some big saves for us particularly as the game got deeper. Our third was OK, I thought our first two were way better, and overtime we gave up some high quality, some bells were rings for a bit there. But it was nice to see the shootout win."

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, recording another multi-point game, his 16th of the season.

"I mean we need every point we can get at this point," Kane said. "There's still belief in this locker room. Obviously we need to go on quite a run and have a big record here down the stretch. But take it a game at a time and nice to get two points."

Anton Forsberg was a big reason the Blackhawks even recorded those two points. The 25-year-old netminder stopped 34 of 36 shots and made a handful of big saves down the stretch.

"It was really nice to get a win for sure," Forsberg said. "I would love to have a lot more wins, but right now just gotta look forward and get as many wins as possible."

Added Quenneville: "I think it was good for him to win a game the way he did. Lot of shots were on the line, as we progressed, got deeper, hitting the point first was big for him and for us and then finding a way to get the extra one was a good win."

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Of Bulls and Blackhawks, which team will finish with higher draft pick?

0109_zach_lavine_bulls.jpg
USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Of Bulls and Blackhawks, which team will finish with higher draft pick?

On the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Patrick Finley (Chicago Sun-Times), Hub Arkush (ProFootball Weekly) and Jason Goch (SB Nation) join Kap on the panel.

The guys debate which team will finish with a higher draft pick when the season ends: Bulls or Blackhawks?

Plus, hear their reaction to the MLB’s new pace-of-play rule change.

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here: