After playing apart for a good chunk of this season, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane will be linemates tonight when the ‘Hawks take on the Habs in Montreal.
Quenneville reiterated Tuesday that he prefers to keep his two biggest stars separated to create more balance throughout the lines. But Kane, who clearly likes playing with Toews, believed the positives outweighed any negatives.
“He’s an easy player to play with,” Kane said. “He gets pucks back, he gets it in your hands, and he’s always around the net to pick up a lot of goals there, too. We haven’t played with each other much the last couple years. When we do get together, there’s some excitement of being back with one another. I’m looking forward to that tonight.
“As far as negatives, I don’t think we want to look at it that way. I think we have so many good players on this team and so many players that can put the puck in the net, we should have a balance throughout the lineup no matter who’s playing with who.”
The ‘Hawks have just nine goals in their last five games, but five of them came in a wild win over Ottawa and they’ve been shutout twice (by the Ducks and Jets). The hope is that Kane and Toews getting back together will provide a spark, and that their new linemate — Ben Smith — can provide the energy and net-front presence Quenneville feels has been lacking of late.
“We try everything,” Quenneville said, per CSN Chicago. “If it’s not working over the course of a season you’re going to try things.
“We’ll start the game like that. Hopefully it’ll go longer than a period or a game.”