By Chris Emma–
CHICAGO (CBS) — Will the Blackhawks keep Jonathan Toews and Patick Kane on the top line for the Stanley Cup Final? Coach Joel Quenneville didn’t confirm or deny his plans for this option Monday afternoon before the team left for Tampa Bay.
“We’ll see,” Quenneville said.
Chicago’s two most skilled playmakers, Toews and Kane came together during Game 6 of the Western Conference Final against Anaheim alongside winger Brandon Saad, and the Blackhawks won each game with five goals on the board. The drawback is that the big-time pairing makes the team’s second line weaker. The two were typically on separate lines at even strength in the regular season.
In this postseason, Kane leads all Blackhawks with 20 points — 10 goals and 10 assists — while Toews has nine goals and nine assists for 18 points, third-best mark for the team.
“It’s nice having some flexibility,” Quenneville said.
In the 2013 Cup Final, Quenneville paired Toews and Kane on the top line, though he suggested that won’t matter for this series with the Lightning.
No lines have been set by Quenneville, in part because of the short turnaround after Saturday’s clincher in Game 7 against the Ducks in Anaheim.
The Blackhawks and Lightning start their championship series on Wednesday in Tampa Bay, with puck drop coming shortly after 7 p.m. CT. Chicago is seeking its third Stanley Cup in six years.
Follow Chris on Twitter @CEmma670.