With regards to stardom in the NHL, the top six is the place to be. The flash positions of wing and center get a majority of the credit, especially when players get the credit of being in the top six, meaning they are in the two top lines and likely on the power-play unit.
For the Chicago Blackhawks, the top six is constantly in change. Coach Joel Quenneville is in a brilliant position with regards to how he can construct a team. He is in the first year of a new contract, and due to his Stanley Cup rings and tenure, can do practically anything he wants to with the top six.
A great example of this is when Coach Q dropped Bryan Bickell (The Blackhawks new four-year 16-million-dollar man) to the third line this weekend in a back-to-back. With Center Michal Handzus out, Marcus Kruger took advantage of his new position as the center of the second line, although he will more than likely be demoted quickly and Brandon Pirri will be sent down.
However, Coach Q is in a great position as stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are currently carrying the team. Toews, for example, has four points centering the top line, while Kane has added five points to go together with his five games played. Such a contribution will be expected for the remainder of the season as the Blackhawks look to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.
“I don’t get how he plays,” St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told the Chicago Sun Times. “How you can go around the ice for 60 minutes and nobody touches you? I don’t understand that. It’s fascinating to watch him as a player.” The Blackhawks obviously have a game plan that’s been fairly effective five games in, and at 3-0-1 the Blackhawks have to continue to enact this star-forward philosophy.
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