Patrick Kane to Hawks' third line
CHICAGO -- When the Chicago Blackhawks resume play after a rare three-day break, they'll have a brand new look.
Coach Joel Quenneville created four new lines to face the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday at the United Center.
Jonathan Toews will center the top line with newcomer Jack Skille on one side and Patrick Sharp on the other. Tomas Kopecky moves from wing to center to play between Marian Hossa and Troy Brouwer, while Dave Bolland will center Patrick Kane and Viktor Stalberg. That leaves Jake Dowell as the fourth-line center between Bryan Bickell and Fernando Pisani.
You can make a lot of excuses, but when it comes down to it, you can't make any excuses. There really are none. I should be playing better. I know that.” -- Patrick Kane
"I think we have a couple of guys on each line that can give us some scoring and work well together," Quenneville said after practice on Tuesday. "That's what we're looking for and we'll see how it works."
If Quenneville's intent was to get his players' attention after an up-and-down 5-4-1 start to the season, none sounded more determined to tune up his game than Kane.
"We have two guys going right now, Hossa and Sharp," Kane said. "For most of us, especially myself, you want to take it upon yourself to start helping those guys out. And start producing here. Enough is enough."
Kane has two goals and five assists in nine games this season, but his minus-7 rating is the team's worst.
"You can make a lot of excuses, but when it comes down to it, you can't make any excuses," Kane said. "There really are none. I should be playing better. I know that.
"[It] just seems like one of those times in that department where you can't catch a break in the plus/minus. You want to play better defensively. It seems like that's the overall message around here... if you play better defensively we're going to get the puck more and produce more, obviously."
Kane is trying not to take his drop to the third line as any sort of demotion -- if it is in the first place.
"I'm fine with my line right now," Kane said. "[Bolland] is a great player. Hopefully we can hit it off right away."
For others, like Skille, the new look is a new chance.
"This is an opportunity they are giving me," Skille said. "They are giving me a huge chance to prove myself and I'm going to do everything I can with it. I'm going to try and take it and run with it. Talking with [Toews], he and Sharp are highly skilled players that want the puck on their stick all the time. But if I'm worried about getting them the puck all the time I'm not going to play my game and it's going to get me demoted real quick."
Pisani is on the opposite end of the spectrum, finding himself on the fourth line after playing 10 games without recording a point.
"Obviously, it's not the start that I wanted," Pisani said. "I just have to continue to work hard and get better every day& [I need] to get more shots on net. And try to get an ugly goal there."
Injury update: Quenneville said the Hawks are hoping defenseman Brian Campbell, out with a knee injury since the preseason, might be available on the latter part of the Hawks' road trip to Minnesota and New York this weekend.
"We're anticipating, but we don't want to etch it in stone yet," Quenneville said.
Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.