Swap of right wingers done in hopes of getting Jonathan Toews going
By MARK LAZERUS email@example.com May 8, 2013 9:06PM
Patrick Sharp, Patrick Kane, Michal Handzus
Best of seven
Updated: May 9, 2013 12:26AM
For the second consecutive game, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville shook up his lines for stretches of Game 4, swapping top-line right wing Marian Hossa and second-line right wing Patrick Kane. Quenneville wouldn’t say, but he might have been trying to jump-start Jonathan Toews — held without a point so far in the series — by reuniting him with Kane.
“He was switching it for reasons I won’t say,” Kane said. “Sometimes it’s a good change to play with different players. I haven’t really played with Jonny much throughout the season, even though we’ve played together a lot throughout our careers. Sometimes it’s fun to get back with those guys and play a little bit.”
Toews and Brandon Saad have been held without a point this series. The Minnesota Wild’s top line of Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Charlie Coyle has been held to one goal and a minus-14 rating as the top lines have somewhat canceled each other out.
Patrick Sharp and Kane (four goals, six assists combined) have filled the void, while the Wild’s lack of scoring depth has been exposed. But Toews wants to be more productive.
“It’s easy to get frustrated in situations like this,” Toews said. “You don’t ever want to say that word because it kind of gives the other team props for what they’re doing. At this point we all understand that we’re working hard for quality scoring chances, and they’re working very hard to limit those chances. Hoss and Saader and myself, we know that once one goes in, we’ll get that confidence that they can all go in again, and maybe the rest of the game flows a little more for us.”
Quenneville said center Dave Bolland (groin) and goalie Ray Emery (lower body) are both doubtful for Game 5. Wild goalie Josh Harding was expected to make the trip to Chicago, but his status is uncertain.