The three have played together at times throughout the last couple of seasons, but with Sharp’s move to center it’s happened less and less. Sharp and Toews scored the only Chicago Blackhawks’ goals in the 3-2 loss to Columbus Blue Jackets. The line didn’t end the game as prolific as it started, but it does beg the question, will they stay together?
“Sharpie gives us a great center man there,” coach Joel Quenneville said after the game. “All of a sudden we have balance in the middle. We tried something [Saturday] that was effective, at one point.”
Sounds like he’s leaning away from keeping them together. There is a lack of true centers when Tomas Kopecky returns from an upper body injury that kept him out of Saturday’s game, assuming Evan Brophey goes back down to the AHL, so don’t expect a long-term reunion for the trio.
With Kopecky absent, the Hawks went to their all-time games-played leader in Rockford to replace him. Evan Brophey made his NHL debut on Saturday after appearing in 238 games in the AHL. Brophey held his own in 7:09 of ice time. He recorded one shot, three hits, and won 4-of-5 faceoffs.
Brian Campbell took to the ice on Saturday for the first time since injuring his right knee in a preseason contest in September.
“He did good,” Quenneville said. “He’ll get a couple of practices with us [and] we’ll get a better idea, but he’s not too far away.”
Patrick Sharp tallied his eighth goal of the season on Saturday to tie for the league lead. Last season he scored his eighth on December 1. Sharp’s 11 points are good for second in the NHL.
“We definitely left some meat on the table today.” -- Joel Quenneville, after his team blew a 2-0 lead.