Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane Breaking Up?

CHICAGO - MAY 11:  (L-R) Jonathan Toews #19 and Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrate after Kane scored his third goal of the game to record a hat trick against the Vancouver Canucks during the third period Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinal Round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 11, 2009 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Tab BamfordSenior Writer IOctober 5, 2009

After mixing up the lines in the first game of the season, Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville continued tinkering on Saturday, and with the additional mixing comes more questions about the Hawks' lines moving forward.

On Friday, Quenneville moved Patrick Sharp off the top line, where he had played next to youngsters Patrick Kane and captain Jonathan Toews.  Sharp played with David Bolland and Kris Versteeg, while Dustin Byfuglien took his spot with Kane and Toews.

Saturday's changes saw Kane and Toews splitting up.  Kane stayed with Byfuglien, but Bolland moved between them.  Kane scored two points for the second time in as many games.

The Hawks are loaded with talented forwards and will likely continue to see an evolution with so many good players to choose from.  Quenneville won't have Marian Hossa back until November, at which point there could be more changes.

However, Quenneville would ideally prefer to have some lines working well together before Hossa comes back.  Sharp and Versteeg figure to be a pair of wings that could be together all season, while Byfuglien's physical presence could open up the ice for Kane to have a big season.

Kane has four points through two games this year.

We haven't even started discussing John Madden, Andrew Ladd, Tomas Kopecky, Ben Eager or Colin Fraser yet, either.

Toews could easily slide between Versteeg and Sharp and create an explosive line, but it is more likely that Toews will be on a line with Hossa eventually.  With that in mind, Toews pairing with Andrew Ladd at one wing could be likely moving forward. Madden playing center between Sharp and Versteeg might make sense.

No matter what direction Quenneville goes with his lineup, there's no doubt the Hawks will have enough offense to be effective this year. How this depth plays a role in the Hawks decisions before the trade deadling next spring might be an intriguing story that develops through the season as well.

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