Patrick Kane was in a rare position last season, playing with his trio mates Artemi Panarin Artem Anisimov and for almost the entire season. His chemistry with Panarin was particularly notable.
Now Kane and Panarin might be separated because the Blackhawks need more than one line to work this season. Asked about the potential split Saturday night, Kane’s answer was diplomatic.
“Last year, I think, is probably the only year that I really only played with some players, so I’m used to playing everywhere, playing with different guys,” said Kane. “We’ll see what happens. I know they wanted to try something different to the game tonight and perhaps throughout the preseason, so I’ll just play where they tell me to play , I suppose “.
We do not know what will happen if Kane and Panarin are divided for a decent amount of time, but we certainly know what they can do when they are together. We had a reminder of that Saturday night when, set up again after a penalty kill, Kane hit Panarin with a perfect pass from setbacks. Panarin finished with a smooth slapshot, snapping preseason scoreless streak Blackhawks.
But here’s what we have to remember with all of this: If the split occurs, it is not because the coach Joel Quenneville wants to. It is because now he has to. The depth Blackhawks front is thin, the thinnest it has been in some time. Need a reminder of how it is depleted? Here are some of the attackers who were here last year who are now gone: Teuvo Teravainen, Bryan Bickell, Andrew Shaw, Marko Dano and Phillip Danault. You can also add Andrew Ladd, Dale Weise and Tomas Fleischmann – all acquired around the trade deadline – if you wish.