Corey Crawford starts and Brandon Mashinter is back in the lineup when the Blackhawks host the Colorado Avalanche tonight at the United Center.
The Blackhawks’ top three lines have been playing well lately, whether scoring chances have gone in or not. The fourth line – which has been Bickell, Dennis Rasmussen and Ryan Garbutt these past few games – has sputtered, playing few minutes. Coach Joel Quenneville wants to get that line going again.
“That line, just change it up a little bit. That’s the one line that hasn’t played much, been moving some pieces around on that line as we’ve gone along here,” Quenneville said. “We’ve been pretty consistent throughout our lineup, that’s the one line we’re looking for a little bit more balance.”
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
For Mashinter, it’s just been about being ready for whenever that call does come.
“I think guys in my situation, they’re all pros and it’s a job, so you have to come in and work every day,” he said. “This is my longest time being in the NHL and, as I said when I first got called up here, I’m trying to make the most of it and trying not to take anything for granted.”
With Mashinter’s reinsertion, it looks like Bryan Bickell will once again be a healthy scratch. It’s another tough day in a season that’s been filled with them for the forward.
“Mentally it’s frustrating but we’re on a six-game winning streak, so what can you say,” he said. “We’re winning. That’s the most important thing.”