May 9, 2014, 8:41 PM EST
Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville probably isn’t worried about making sure his team is more entertaining in Game 4 than they were in Game 3. Instead, he’s hoping to avoid another effort like the one that resulted in a 4-0 win by the Minnesota Wild.
Attribute it to experimentation, the Wild getting the last change or any number of factors, but it looks like he’s shuffling things up quite a bit, as NHL.com reports.
The once-red-hot line of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Bryan Bickell may look quite different as Ben Smith skated in Kane’s spot. Kane gets bumped down to a line with Brandon Saad and Marcus Kruger while there’s the “third line” of Patrick Sharp, Michal Handzus and Marian Hossa. (Or would Kane’s line be the third line in this alignment?)
There’s always the chance that Quenneville was just messing around with different combos before going back to different lines tonight. It’s also far from unusual for a coach to make tweaks during a game.
Players like Smith note to NHL.com that they’re quite comfortable with all the chances.
“All we can really do is prepare the way we had [the lines on Friday morning] and we’ll see what happens,” Smith said. “I think I have played with everyone this season, so it makes it a little easier. We’re always prepared for that because that is the way it is. It keeps us guessing, keeps us in the game and keeps us involved.”
- Giroux line takes Leafs ‘to school’ in Flyers’ 7-4 victory 5
- Wolverine Pacioretty gets two assists just two days after being hospitalized 6
- Ovechkin scores beauty as Caps shutout Devils 3
- Seriously? Stress fracture sidelines Columbus’ Jenner for 1-2 months 6
- Julien chides Bruins’ offense for too many cute plays 40
- Sens roll over Ducks, who ‘weren’t ready’ 11
- Flyers’ Mason tweaked back, will miss weekend games 10
- Gordie Howe makes ‘amazing’ recovery following stem cell treatment in Mexico 15
- Video: Penguins’ spoof of ‘Christmas Vacation’ is pretty good 18
- Mason hurt, helped off ice at end of Flyers practice 8