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Forums :: Blog World :: Justin Lowe: Possible Line Combinations: Top 6
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Justin Lowe
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Toronto, ON
Joined: 10.31.2017

Sep 10 @ 8:22 AM ET
Justin Lowe: Possible Line Combinations: Top 6 Introducing my 3-part series of "Possible Line Combinations" with this edition focusing on the top 6.

This lineup is very fluid at this point. Stan Bowman didn't go out and acquire a top 6 forward to slide on to Jonathan Toews line or to play opposite Patrick Kane. He is doubling down on the growth from players like Debrincat and Schmaltz.

In the below, I would present 3 options of interesting, and possible line combinations for this upcoming season.
StutzBlackhawk
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: LaGrange, IL
Joined: 10.31.2016

Sep 10 @ 8:38 AM ET
FIRST !
-Doh-
Location: VA
Joined: 10.05.2015

Sep 10 @ 8:54 AM ET
With Q's blender it does not matter too much. We know that they will not stick.

Instead of thinking top 6 I can see the Hawks trying to get 3 balanced decent lines (not one or two strong lines). Then they have a 4th line that is either an energy line, a physical line or a shut down line.

Blender ingredients for to 3 lines
C - Toew, Schmaltz, AA,
RW - Kane,
LW - Saad
RW/LW - Sikura, Debrincat, Kahun, Hayden, Ejdsell, Kunitz

Blender ingredients for the 4th line
C Kruger
RW/LW Kampf, Fortin, Highmore, Matinsen, Johnson (and whomever does not make the top 3 lines.)

(locks in Caps)
purepone
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Long Island, NY
Joined: 07.24.2014

Sep 10 @ 9:07 AM ET
Great up Justin!

Out of those options, I like 3 a lot. I am an Ejdsell fan and think based on his size and playing style that he would fit in with Schmaltz and Kane.

Sikura I think is going to be the front runner to fill the final spot in the top 6, and rightfully so as he is clearly a guy StanBo and Co. want to step up quick.

If AA somehow starts/plays in the top 6 outside due to injuries, the team is tanked....
Taylorst1
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 07.09.2018

Sep 10 @ 9:08 AM ET
Justin nice thoughts on possible line combinations! Let's examine Toews play before Chicago acquired Hossa , Toews wasn't able to produce the way he was able to do with the acquisition of Hossa. Hossa made toews a better player. I'm my opinion in order for Toews to be affective he needs Saad to have a bounce back year but another line mate who can carry the puck and Hayden doesn't have the skill to hands or I.Q to be a top 6 guy.

I'd like to see line combos like toews , saad Kahn or sikura.

Schmaltz, Kane and edsel


Kane is dangerous no matter who plays with him and I believe whomever plays opposite him will look great.
Justin Lowe
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Toronto, ON
Joined: 10.31.2017

Sep 10 @ 9:24 AM ET
With Q's blender it does not matter too much. We know that they will not stick.

Instead of thinking top 6 I can see the Hawks trying to get 3 balanced decent lines (not one or two strong lines). Then they have a 4th line that is either an energy line, a physical line or a shut down line.

Blender ingredients for to 3 lines
C - Toew, Schmaltz, AA,
RW - Kane,
LW - Saad
RW/LW - Sikura, Debrincat, Kahun, Hayden, Ejdsell, Kunitz

Blender ingredients for the 4th line
C Kruger
RW/LW Kampf, Fortin, Highmore, Matinsen, Johnson (and whomever does not make the top 3 lines.)

(locks in Caps)

- -Doh-


This is true. Although I have heard that he's more open to leaving lines this year if things are working. I think he would welcome it after last years super blender.

It gas been one of Q's criticisms from players is the juggling of lines.

We'll see how he handles this young team with depth issues.
Joeron
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Los Angeles, GA
Joined: 11.26.2016

Sep 10 @ 9:31 AM ET
Great stuff Justin!!
I really like the cat, Toews and Hayden combo and have complete confidence in Hayden up there as well, a possible b option would be Ejdsell with 19 and the cat?!
StLBravesFan
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: IL
Joined: 07.03.2011

Sep 10 @ 9:32 AM ET
This is true. Although I have heard that he's more open to leaving lines this year if things are working. I think he would welcome it after last years super blender.

It gas been one of Q's criticisms from players is the juggling of lines.

We'll see how he handles this young team with depth issues.

- Justin Lowe

Does anyone (and I DO have someone in mind for “anyone”) have any stats showing whether Q does or does not change up lines more often than other coaches?
resqmed99
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 06.18.2007

Sep 10 @ 9:37 AM ET
Great read! Best part is that you're highly likely to see all of those line combos throughout the season as Q loves to mix it up. We'll see how it comes out!
-Doh-
Location: VA
Joined: 10.05.2015

Sep 10 @ 9:42 AM ET
This is true. Although I have heard that he's more open to leaving lines this year if things are working. I think he would welcome it after last years super blender.

It gas been one of Q's criticisms from players is the juggling of lines.

We'll see how he handles this young team with depth issues.

- Justin Lowe


Thanks Justin. You are doing a great job!! I am ok with Q, but if he keeps the blender on a high speed this year I think he will lose the team and his job. We have Colliton warming up in the bullpen.
Chunk
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Orange, CA
Joined: 11.06.2015

Sep 10 @ 9:52 AM ET
Justin nice thoughts on possible line combinations! Let's examine Toews play before Chicago acquired Hossa , Toews wasn't able to produce the way he was able to do with the acquisition of Hossa. Hossa made toews a better player. I'm my opinion in order for Toews to be affective he needs Saad to have a bounce back year but another line mate who can carry the puck and Hayden doesn't have the skill to hands or I.Q to be a top 6 guy.

I'd like to see line combos like toews , saad Kahn or sikura.

Schmaltz, Kane and edsel


Kane is dangerous no matter who plays with him and I believe whomever plays opposite him will look great.

- Taylorst1


The Hawks acquired Hosea the year after his rookie season. To say that Toews wasn’t able to/couldn’t produce without him is pure conjecture. I’m not discounting the Fact hate Hossa made everyone around him better, but you cannot pin Toews success simply on his linemate.

Edit: ok sorry, after his second year, but the point remains.its not like his production changed all that much.
D2D
Joined: 05.27.2018

Sep 10 @ 9:54 AM ET
OK Justin, I will bite and buy-in on Option 3 with the caveat that my line #3 will do some damage.

Saad-Toews-Debincat
Ejdsell-Schmaltz-Kane
Anisomov-Kahun- Sikura (off wing)
Kunitz-Kruger-Hayden
67hawks
Joined: 08.30.2012

Sep 10 @ 10:22 AM ET
Option 2 is the way I would go. If Schmaltz ends up with a big pay day next summer then let it be based on his play without Kane inflating his numbers. This team cannot take on yet another overpaid player.
Schmaltz paired with young wingers will give us a young energy element plus it may cure Schmaltz of his "respect" over-passing problem.
Taylorst1
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 07.09.2018

Sep 10 @ 10:31 AM ET
The Hawks acquired Hosea the year after his rookie season. To say that Toews wasn’t able to/couldn’t produce without him is pure conjecture. I’m not discounting the Fact hate Hossa made everyone around him better, but you cannot pin Toews success simply on his linemate.

Edit: ok sorry, after his second year, but the point remains.its not like his production changed all that much.

- Chunk



You apparently either didn't read what I wrote or your ignorant of the facts. Toews with the addition of Hossa made him a better player , without hossa we don't win that first cup. Also Since Toews was rewarded with that big contract he hasn't produced but yet his play has diminished take that how ever you wish but facts and our eyes don't deceive us.


Now Hayden in the year and a half playing hasn't shown he can be a top 6 player, he is a dump and chase player, he hasn't shown the ability to carry the puck , poor hockey I.Q minimal improvement .


I don't see this season anything to be excited about unless every one takes huge steps forward including captain serious. Every baby hawk needs to exceed expectations.
SoftServe
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Bensenville, IL
Joined: 01.19.2016

Sep 10 @ 10:36 AM ET
After the Patched deal, what does a potential Panarin deal look like?
Taylorst1
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 07.09.2018

Sep 10 @ 10:45 AM ET
After the Patched deal, what does a potential Panarin deal look like?
- SoftServe



Toews for panarin plus 2 first round picks or anisomov and forsling for panarin? Then if available July 1st sign Seguin.
breadbag
Location: Edmonton, AB
Joined: 11.30.2015

Sep 10 @ 10:50 AM ET
Personally, I'd take option 2 but it will depend on the defensive match up game and how much Q trust the other forwards. Q likes to use Toews and Kane's line very differently. Toews line usually gets the "Cancel out the opposition scoring line" duty while he tries to slot the Kane line with as many offensive chances as possible. I really like these two on a line together, but another line would likely have to take some of those match up minutes. While I think the players need to step up defensively (on the blueline too) I think the coaches will need to extend them some trust, to get the most out of the combinations of all 5 players.
fattybeef
Joined: 05.04.2010

Sep 10 @ 11:07 AM ET
The Hawks acquired Hosea the year after his rookie season. To say that Toews wasn’t able to/couldn’t produce without him is pure conjecture. I’m not discounting the Fact hate Hossa made everyone around him better, but you cannot pin Toews success simply on his linemate.

Edit: ok sorry, after his second year, but the point remains.its not like his production changed all that much.

- Chunk


Toews and Kane played together pre Hossa.
breadbag
Location: Edmonton, AB
Joined: 11.30.2015

Sep 10 @ 11:18 AM ET
Option 2 is the way I would go. If Schmaltz ends up with a big pay day next summer then let it be based on his play without Kane inflating his numbers. This team cannot take on yet another overpaid player.
Schmaltz paired with young wingers will give us a young energy element plus it may cure Schmaltz of his "respect" over-passing problem.

- 67hawks


Some solid reasoning...definitely Schmaltz-Kane worked well together. Schmaltz scored goals at a higher rate away from Kane (5v5) but his assists (primary) wasn't as high. I think he will score pretty well even without Kane (he didn't play with Kane nearly as much in his first season and scored a lot of points with Toews/Panik). I'd love to see him continue his demonstration of his all round game. He was a great PK option last year and did a lot of work up and down the ice. He is often near the puck and coming out of the boards with it on his stick because of his skating and skill. If he gets stronger and better able to absorb physical play, he will become even more valuable to the team. I hope he starts to get even more credit for what he can do.
glennjpawlak22
Joined: 11.26.2013

Sep 10 @ 11:52 AM ET
The part of Schmaltz game i hope he improves on is shooting more. if he does that the other parts of his game will open even more - Wasnt Kane a pass first guy early in his career? once he got over that hump, he became LETHAL
DarthKane
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: I love sarcasm.
Joined: 02.23.2012

Sep 10 @ 11:54 AM ET
After the Patched deal, what does a potential Panarin deal look like?
- SoftServe



Panarin for Schmaltz, DeBrincat, Sikura, Boqvist, Jokiharju, Beaudin, 2019 1st, 2020 1st and 2013 Stanley Cup banner.
GPHawksfan
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Grande Prairie, AB
Joined: 01.26.2018

Sep 10 @ 11:57 AM ET
Panarin for Schmaltz, DeBrincat, Sikura, Boqvist, Jokiharju, Beaudin, 2019 1st, 2020 1st and 2013 Stanley Cup banner.
- DarthKane

Whoever thought your sarcasm was annoying and I told that person to just ignore it, I apologize to that person. They were right.
DarthKane
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: I love sarcasm.
Joined: 02.23.2012

Sep 10 @ 12:18 PM ET
Whoever thought your sarcasm was annoying and I told that person to just ignore it, I apologize to that person. They were right.
- GPHawksfan



Thanks!
DarthKane
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: I love sarcasm.
Joined: 02.23.2012

Sep 10 @ 12:26 PM ET
Great stuff Justin!!
I really like the cat, Toews and Hayden combo and have complete confidence in Hayden up there as well, a possible b option would be Ejdsell with 19 and the cat?!

- Joeron



For me Hayden and Ejdsell are still question marks. If either guy makes the team I suspect it will be in the bottom 6, at least to start the season. My guess is that Sikura and Kahun will be the first guys given a shot to crack the top 6. Should they not make it then I wouldn't be surprised to see Hayden get a look.
Justin Lowe
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Toronto, ON
Joined: 10.31.2017

Sep 10 @ 12:37 PM ET
Justin nice thoughts on possible line combinations! Let's examine Toews play before Chicago acquired Hossa , Toews wasn't able to produce the way he was able to do with the acquisition of Hossa. Hossa made toews a better player. I'm my opinion in order for Toews to be affective he needs Saad to have a bounce back year but another line mate who can carry the puck and Hayden doesn't have the skill to hands or I.Q to be a top 6 guy.

I'd like to see line combos like toews , saad Kahn or sikura.

Schmaltz, Kane and edsel


Kane is dangerous no matter who plays with him and I believe whomever plays opposite him will look great.

- Taylorst1


That's a common thought in Chicago but have heard Kane doesn't appreciate it too much.

He was bummed out that Panarin was dealt after having career years with him opposite wing.

Last year he looked frustrated at times. Which led to rumours this offseason for him asking management to acquire Pacioretty.

I believe this is why Q is trying to do by pairing up Kane with 2 legit top 6 players vs. shoehorning in role player or player who has potential like an Ejdsell.

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