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Joel Quenneville is happy with Marcus Kruger

Updated: January 8, 2012 10:33AM



Marcus Kruger didn’t get a point in his first three games as the Blackhawks’ second-line center between stars Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp. But coach Joel Quenneville isn’t focusing on his stat line.

“I don’t think he’s intimidated playing with a couple of top guys,” Quenneville said. “He’s strong all the time. He’s just going to gradually improve in his individual game. We don’t put too much pressure on him that he has to produce. Defensively is the best way to measure him because there’s a lot going on offensively on that line.”

In other words, he’s happy with Kruger.

Kruger, who has had a number of chances in the last three games, said he’d like to show up offensively, but he won’t make an effort to radically change his game because of his lack of production.

“I think that’s something you have to do with guys like Marian and Patrick,” Kruger said. “You can’t really change much of your game. You play with them because of the way you played before. That’s what the coaches want me to do, to play the same way.”

Kruger makes sure to talk things through with Sharp and Hossa on the bench and at practice.

“The guys have been helping me a lot,” Kruger said. “I just try to listen to what they say and get better.”

A reality star

Forward Patrick Kane will be the first player featured in a new series on Versus called “NHL 36,” which will air for the first time before next Wednesday’s game against the Minnesota Wild. Kane has been trailed by a camera and microphone for a couple of days for the show.

“You know how the reality TV stars feel every day of their lives,” Kane said. “It’s a little different, but enjoyable at the same time.”



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