BOSTON – Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane joined forces – or at least line duty – to do some fine work at the end of the Western Conference Finals. So with the backs kind of scraping against the wall in this Stanley Cup Final, they’re together again.
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Toews and Kane were aligned with Bryan Bickell on Wednesday morning as the Blackhawks prepared for Game 4 against the Boston Bruins tonight. The Blackhawks have struggled to find offense over the last two games, their last goal coming in the first period of Game 2. So it's time to reunite two of the super powers.
“We had some success against L.A., so whatever the combinations are, we always say we have to go find a way to score, find a way to play smart defensively,” Toews said this morning. “But again tonight, I think we have confidence together as a line, with (Bickell) and Kaner, that we can make things happen. We were close last game to scoring. We didn't get on the score sheet, so obviously that's not good enough. That'll be one of our main goals tonight.”
Toews obviously knows he has to bring more offense. The captain’s last goal came on May 25 against Detroit; he has five assists in his last 10 games. He hasn’t shied away from talking about it all postseason, and he didn’t again this morning.
“Every waking moment it's something you think about. You’ve just got to be hungry,” he said. “You’ve just got to be that guy that, at this time of year, you don't get denied. There are no excuses; you’ve got to find a way and obviously scoring a goal would be huge. Not just one. I'll take whatever I can get.”
Kane looked like he had his scoring touch back at the end of the Kings series, his hat trick catapulting the Blackhawks to the Cup final.
“I think right now, especially scoring only one goal in the past two games, usually things change. If that's the line we’re going with I’ll be happy to play with those guys,” said Kane, who added he’s still confident he can get going again. “You have to be confident in your abilities at this stage. I feel I've had a pretty good season to date and can do some more out there, too. It’s always nice when you feel like you’re getting a few chances, but you always feel like you can do more.”
Bickell earned a top-line promotion earlier this postseason. For three rounds, he was one of the Blackhawks’ go-to scorers. Like many of his teammates, he’s run into a rut against the Bruins, one he’s looking to get out of soon.
“It worked in the L.A. series. Hopefully it sparks each other,” said Bickell, who has yet to record a point in the Stanley Cup Final. “There are going to be times when the pucks are going in and there are times when it hasn’t, but I just need to stick to my game plan every night. When the puck is going in, I’m fortunate, but I just need to keep working hard.”