Patrick Sharp practiced on the Blackhawks' top line on Wednesday.
Sharp skated alongside Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. "That's up to Joel. He has a good feel for the team, mixing and matching players," Sharp said. "You've seen that in the past. I'll play wherever he puts me and I trust he knows the right combination." Toews has struggled offensively in the 2013 playoffs, so maybe this change will help spark him.
The Chicago Blackhawks are putting a lot of emphasis on getting off to a great start in Game 4 on Thursday.
"It's going to be huge," Marian Hossa said. "It's going to be a big difference after Game 4: it's either going to be 2-2 or 3-1. We know the stakes and we have to prepare. We did a lot of good things in Game 3, but they still found a way to be better than us. In Game 4 we have to be better than them." Chicago is 3-1 in the postseason when leading after 20 minutes and they haven't lost a 2013 playoff game when they held the lead going into the third period.
Andrew Shaw has accumulated 18 penalty minutes over the first three games of the second round.
Shaw will be looking to play a more disciplined game on Thursday. "I've gotta keep going to the net and keep my hands down, also," Shaw said. "It's a physical battle in front of the net and I can't take stupid penalties. I have to move forward and move past the last game. We have to stay disciplined." The Blackhawks have been perfect when it comes to killing penalties in the playoffs, but allowing the other team to have a power-play opportunity still kills Chicago's momentum.
Jaromir Jagr, Jonathan Toews and Tyler Seguin remain frustratingly planted in the "no-goal club."
Seguin must be the most agitated with a whopping 39 SOG and zero tallies in 10 games, failing to find the net despite firing almost four shots on opposing goalies per contest. It's stunning that the Bruins are one win away from the Eastern Conference finals despite the fact that Jagr and Seguin have gone without a goal on 68 combined SOG.
Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp switched lines at Wednesday's practice.
Saad moved to the second line to play with Dave Bolland and Patrick Kane, while Sharp skated alongside Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. "We'll see on the lines," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I know that it's something we'll talk about going into the game."
The Chicago Blackhawks are facing some adversity for the first time this season and coach Joel Quenneville sees it as a great opportunity.
"All year long, we've been in a very favorable position," Quenneville said. "I don't think we've been against it in any areas, as far as many stretches in games being down, and definitely in a series we haven't been down. It's a great test for us. It's a good challenge for us. The adversity we're in right now, we have to find a way to overcome it, and that'll be a challenge at the end of the day, to find out about everybody." The Hawks trail the Red Wings 2-1 in their best-of-seven series with Game 4 set for Thursday night.
Duncan Keith was able to take some positives out of Detroit's 3-1 win on Monday.
"We probably had one of our better game of the playoffs (Monday)," Keith said. "Even though we lost, I think we're going to take some confidence away from this game. I know it's a tougher situation down 2-1, but we just got to go in with the right mentality the next game." Chicago has been given plenty of time to reflect on that defeat, given that Game 4 won't be until Thursday. Keith assisted on Chicago's lone goal on Monday and has six points in eight playoff games.