It’s been a rough month of November for the Blackhawks in just about every way. Injuries have reached all corners of the roster, most recently taking Sam Lafferty and Jarred Tinordi out of the rotation. Tyler Johnson hasn’t played at all this month, and Seth Jones missed most of the month with an injury as well.
On a team with already-limited offensive firepower, the injuries have led to some really ugly scoring struggles. For example, over their past ten games, the Blackhawks have scored more than two goals just three times. They lost two of those three games, plus 8 of their past 10 overall. Clearly, a change is/was needed. And one is coming. A big one.
Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson has gone to the biggest “nuclear” option in his extremely limited arsenal: Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are going to be together against Edmonton on Wednesday night.
Kane has only 16 points in 21 games and half of those points are power play assists. Toews leads the team with eight goals, and half of those have come on the power play. Simply put: even the Blackhawks’ brightest stars are struggling to move the needle at even strength right now.
But Toews remains the best faceoffs man in the NHL, which means he’s winning possession more times than not. And Kane has created chances for Max Domi and Andreas Athanasiou, but the finish hasn’t always been there. So Richardson is going to swap Domi with Toews to see if that can spark an offense that’s going to need to put goals on the board against the Edmonton Oilers’ high-powered offense on Wednesday.
Here’s what the new-look lines were at practice on Tuesday: