Line changes are nothing new with the Chicago Blackhawks, and it looks like they’ll have a few tweaks to them again entering tonight’s game against the New York Islanders.
Andrew Shaw centered the third line, but with Brandon Saad to his right and Marcus Kruger to his left at today’s morning skate. It was an unusual configuration, for sure, but one with which both wings are comfortable.
“It doesn’t really matter what side,” said Saad, who said he’s familiar with both of them. “It takes an adjustment handling the puck off the boards but as far as playing (on the right), I feel comfortable.”
[MORE: Khabibulin gets the nod against Islanders]
Kruger said he’s somewhat familiar with the left side, having played there with Dave Bolland and Michael Frolik last season.
“I’ve seen it before. And it’s still the same game,” Kruger said. “If that’s the line, we’ll probably switch it around.”
Meanwhile, Joakim Nordstrom will center the fourth line — his natural spot — with Brandon Bollig and Ben Smith. Coach Joel Quenneville said it’s not that he’s unhappy with the third and fourth lines; it’s just seeing the options.
“We’re just trying some things, see who’s better with one another, just having a different look,” he said.
Nikolai Khabibulin gets his first start of this season tonight. For the Islanders, Kevin Poulin will be in net.