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Chicago Blackhawks: Why Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews Should Be Linemates

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have unmatched chemistry.
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have unmatched chemistry.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Nicole BlumContributor IIIJune 13, 2013

The Chicago Blackhawks' 4-3 triple-overtime win against the Boston Bruins was an ugly win. It shouldn't have been this way.

All of Chicago's scoring came from depth players Brandon Saad, Dave Bolland, Johnny Oduya and Andrew Shaw.

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were left off the scoresheet.

Compare this to the Blackhawks' previous 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 5. In Chicago's double-overtime victory, Toews and Kane were paired on the first line—and they played their best hockey of the playoffs together.

Kane recorded a hat trick and Toews assisted on two of Kane's goals.

Before the L.A. game, Kane and Toews only had 18 points combined in the playoffs even though they both led the Blackhawks in points in the regular season. Together, they racked up five points in that one game where they played on the same line.

So why was this line broken?

Coach Joel Quenneville told Brian Stubits of CBSSports.com that Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, "could be" one of the reasons why he decided to break up the Kane-Toews-Bickell line.

Quenneville added, "It's balance and something we'll look at. Sometimes that can evolve over the course of a series. But it might be one of the reasons."

The Blackhawks shouldn't take Toews and Kane out of their best game to try to adapt to Boston's game. Sure, Chara is one of the best defensemen in the NHL, but the Bruins defense is very strong as a whole.

Let's remember Toews and Kane have already shown against the Kings that they can outplay a physical defense.  

Plus, moving Kane to the first line and Marian Hossa to the second line will once again create the Slovakian chemistry between Hossa and fellow countryman Michal Handzus.

The chemistry of the lines as seen in Game 5 against L.A. shouldn't be broken unless they really do prove ineffective.

Anyway, who knows how Toews and Kane will fare on the same line against the Bruins until Coach Quenneville actually tries the combination out?

It's worth a try.

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