Q going back to Toews, Kane and Sharp

Q going back to Toews, Kane and Sharp

Posted by TimS on Sat, 05/25/2013 - 11:51

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

That's when Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville usually turns to the trio of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp.

Based on Saturday's morning skate, those three will skate together as the Hawks' top line in Game 5 tonight at the United Center.

"For us three we played together a lot my first couple years in the league and just kind of developed some chemistry to where it was pretty instant," Kane said. "I think we just have to remember how to play with one another. We haven't done it in a while. Hopefully we can have a good first couple shifts and get some chemistry back right away.

"We just have to put what's happened in the past and try to win a hockey game. A couple years ago we played together a lot and were really hot at one time, scoring a lot of goals."

Quenneville tried to be coy about his lines for Game 5, especially Toews, Kane and Sharp, but he let it slip that his three stars would be playing together.

"They've played in the past and they played during the year, a few shifts here and there," Quenneville said. "I think they like playing with one another and we'll see how it goes."

The Red Wings are ready for anything the Hawks might do.

"It's pick your poison," Henrik Zetterberg said. "They're such a deep team, they can put guys together on the first line and still have great guys on the second line."

"They had Toews, (Marian) Hossa and Sharp for Games 2 and 3 a little bit," said Detroit's Dan Cleary. "They're great players and all you can do is compete with them and play as hard as you can. They're a good team that's probably not too happy where they are right now."

As for the Hawks' other forward lines, Michal Handzus will center for Hossa and Bryan Bickell while Andrew Shaw centers for Viktor Stalberg and Brandon Saad on the third line.

Dave Bolland, minus-2 with no points in four playoff games, has been dropped to the fourth line with Marcus Kruger and Michael Frolik.

The defense pairs were the same at the morning skate, but that doesn't mean Quenneville doesn't have something up his sleeve. On Friday he hinted Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith could be reunited.

"It doesn't really matter who I end up playing with," said Niklas Hjalmarsson, who has been Keith's partner throughout the playoffs. "I know the guy next to me is going to have a great effort. It's just a matter of focusing on yourself and your own game instead of thinking about what everyone else is doing out there."

The Hawks will need to play with more desperation than they have in their first nine playoff games.

"I don't how they could be any more desperate or any more scared than we are," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.

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