Toews, Patrick Kane skated on the same line, in practice, could play together on Friday against the Devils

jonathan toews and patrick kane

Joel Quenneville was an interesting surprise for those covering the practice of the Chicago Blackhawks' on Thursday. Toews, Patrick Kane and Richard Panik rode together on the top line, an indication that the team can look for their Friday night's game against the New Jersey Devils.

Yes, it appears the nuclear option is being rolled out in the eighth game of the regular season.

This is the most significant change in the lineup that Quenneville did in the young season. We have seen the likes of Goss, Tyler and Nick Mott Schmaltz bounce around the lineup, but the Hawks have had a tendency to have some guys in familiar places. Toews and Panik generally were together, for example, and the same can be said about the dangerous line Panarin-Anisimov-Kane.

But, in spite of the usual success Panarin-Anisimov-Kane, in the last two weeks it was not terribly encouraging for Chicago. This line outscored their opponents six goals (7-1) during the 5-on-5 games, but the Hawks below .500 now. Much of this can be pinned on the penalty kill, not a bad game in more forces, but you can understand why Q may need to shake things up. Even with the rosy point of view, it is an incorrect command, which never was not going anywhere with a single line, no matter how good it is.

You have to imagine some of this stems from concern about recent successes Toews. Regardless of the excuses you want about his linemates, his conservative style of play and his defensive duties, the Blackhawks need more than one point of strength even in seven games. He is tied to the highest-paid player in the NHL, and he is currently tied to the two hundred and sixtieth in points.

There were positives - he put the puck in the net (2.73 shots on goal per game) and driving in possession (57.2 percent Corsi 5-on-5) - but in the end, when you have the highest league cap hit, you need more than encouragement, the underlying numbers.

So I think that getting Toews Jersey happens most of this. I know that there are great supporters out of the line-Panarin Anisimov-Kane alone, because you do not mess with a good thing, but it's hard not to see the bigger picture here. After a year, relying too much on the line, we see the limits of what it can achieve. They need to re Toews kicking ass.

On the other hand, there is a decent chance that still leaves the Hawks with a good line. Hossa has shown flashes of his old games, but it is not as reliable as it used to be, and his power game may not be ideally suited to Panarin, on the other wing. It also does nothing to solve the bottom six, which still shows the line of Dennis Rasmussen-Nick Schmaltz, Jordin Tootoo, who has little chance of lasting the whole season.

However, you can see a bit of trouble from the Hawks. They are, as a rule, do not apply to the Toews-Kane on the same line until it begins to despair settings. I do not know if you would call it a desperate Chicago early in the season, but it is clear that the team is looking in the mirror a bit and on the basis of constant mixing line, you get the feeling that they do not like everything they see.

I think it's the right move. You can always return to Panarin-Anisimov-Kane in a few games - or even a few shifts on Friday, let's be honest - but if you've nothing

Maybe it's all in vain, when Q is split Toews and Kane on Friday, as he deceived all of us, thinking, Brian Campbell would get scratched. But now, it seems, Hawks put his two big-name forward together, to try to get something going.