Patrick Kane

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Blackhawks turn to Sharp – Toews – Kane amid scoring struggles

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When you’re stumped to find a solution, sometimes it pays off to see what worked before.

The Chicago Blackhawks are going with that strategy amid some scoring struggles, as NBC Sports Chicago’s Tracey Myers and others note that Joel Quenneville is reuniting a line that may inspire Blackhawks nostalgia: Patrick SharpJonathan ToewsPatrick Kane.

Some would call it going retro. Others prefer “going nuclear.”

“Right now we haven’t had the team scoring so we’re trying to get that first and maybe things will look on balance as we’re going along. But I feel if they can score and other lines can score, maybe there’s balance that way, too,” Quenneville said, via Myers. “We’re just looking at any way right now to recapture what it’s like to score because we know it’s there.”

With Brandon Saad managing one assist in his last nine games after a red-hot start to his second run with Chicago, it makes sense to shake things up, especially with the Blackhawks struggling to score at even-strength.

While there are concerns with loading up by putting Toews and Kane together rather than going with the usual plan of asking them to carry their own lines, Saad helps tie things together on a passable second trio:

Putting Saad with Artem Anisimov and Richard Panik could work, maybe.

Sharp might be the forward in the greatest need of a boost. The 35-year-old hasn’t scored a point in his last nine games and only has a goal to show for his last 11.

The Blackhawks could certainly benefit from a bump in energy and creativity, as their schedule is on the more challenging side beginning with tonight’s game against the Flyers in Philly. Take a look at the upcoming stretch:

Thu, Nov 9 @ Philadelphia
Sat, Nov 11 @ Carolina
Sun, Nov 12 vs New Jersey
Wed, Nov 15 vs NY Rangers
Sat, Nov 18 @ Pittsburgh
Wed, Nov 22 @ Tampa Bay
Sat, Nov 25 @ Florida

That’s a difficult weekend, not to mention a run of five of seven games on the road. At 7-6-2, the Blackhawks are currently in the running for a wildcard spot in the West, an experience that remains a bit foreign to this proud group (even if prognosticators have been forecasting such a regression for years now).

It’s not clear how long the Blackhawks would roll with this combination – Coach Q has made it pretty clear that he’d rather diversify his offensive threats – but it might help shake things up. If you enjoy watching those three work together, tonight’s your night.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Top moments from Chicago Blackhawks’ 12-game winning streak

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Back on December 27th the Chicago Blackhawks were sitting in the middle of the Central Division after a 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.

This is the last time the Blackhawks have had to endure the sour taste of defeat.

Joel Quenneville’s club has rocketed to the top of the Western Conference thanks to a 12-game winning streak and here are the top moments from this incredible run.

4.) Rookie Artemi Panarin’s game-winning goal in overtime

The Blackhawks streak almost came to an end in Pittsburgh as the team squandered a two goal lead, but Panarin came through in the clutch by beating Marc-Andre Fleury.

3.) Corey Crawford takes over league lead in shutouts

Crawford started off 2016 much like he ended by 2015, in dominating fashion. Crawford earned his sixth shutout of the season with a 3-0 victory over the Senators.

2.) Patrick Kane records his first career regular season hat trick

While it might seem a bit ridiculous, Patrick Kane hadn’t recorded a regular season hat trick until he buried three goals against the Maple Leafs to extend Chicago’s winning streak to 10 games.

1.) Quenneville passes Al Arbour for second place in NHL victories

Jonathan Toews and Ryan Garbutt scored a pair of first period goals that gave Crawford the cushion he needed as the Blackhawks defeated the Canadiens 2-1.

Report: Tenuous talks of resolution in Kane case

AP
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Lawyers for both Patrick Kane and his accuser are undergoing “fragile” discussions regarding a possible resolution regarding rape allegations, according to the Chicago Tribune.

An anonymous source shared some additional details with the Chicago Tribune:

Attorneys for the parties have been in communication for weeks, though they had not reached a formal agreement by Wednesday afternoon that would potentially end the criminal investigation. To the contrary, the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, described a fluid situation in which both Kane and his accuser have refused at times to acquiesce because they both view themselves as the wronged party.

That same report notes that Kane’s accuser is covering multiple bases as far as her choices of attorneys are concerned:

Kane’s accuser continues to cooperate with the criminal investigation and has hired an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases, in addition to the defense attorney who has been guiding her through that criminal investigation, sources said.

There are still a number of ways this process can turn out, especially considering the aforementioned (and anonymous) comment to the Chicago Tribune about both sides feeling “wronged.”

It’s difficult to speculate regarding what happens next, as matters can go through one or both of the criminal and civil processes.

Most immediately, Kane is scheduled to attend Blackhawks training camp while the team is holding a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

The Chicago Tribune’s full report is absolutely worth a read, including some background regarding how situations somewhat similar to Kane’s ended up being resolved.

Dreger: Kane likely to be at Blackhawks camp

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Patrick Kane‘s longer term future is still unclear, but it sounds like he will attend Chicago Blackhawks training camp.

Darren Dreger said as much during the latest edition of TSN’s Insider Trading on Monday, noting that Kane hasn’t been charged with a crime and that there’s no “logistical” reason for him to be withheld from training camp.

That said, Dreger also stated that we should know for sure in the next 24-48 hours.

It’s unclear when there will be a resolution regarding Kane’s alleged rape investigation, although a postponed grand jury process is expected to resume “soon.”

Naturally, nothing is official at this point:

Report: Grand jury for Kane case to resume soon

AP
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After being postponed earlier this week, the latest word from the Chicago Tribune on Thursday is that a grand jury is expected to resume regarding Patrick Kane‘s alleged rape investigation.

Paul Cambria told the Tribune that the grand jury wasn’t pushed back on his request, and he wasn’t sure why it was canceled. Cambria also doesn’t know when the grand jury will resume, only that it will happen soon.

Others told the Tribune that it could happen sometime in the next two weeks. There’s no word how this may affect Kane’s involvement in Blackhawks training camp, which kicks off on Sept. 18.

One other noteworthy element is that Cambria said the 26-year-old “did nothing wrong,” backing up sentiments expressed by Kane’s agent.

There have been a few legal postponements lately, from Mike Richards’ situation being moved to December to Ryan O'Reilly‘s situation getting postponed to October.

Related

Police confirm investigation

Jonathan Toews on Kane

What happens with Kane?