The Chicago Blackhawks gathered for practice on Thursday ahead of their contest against the Edmonton Oilers, and in spite of their masterful performance against the Carolina Hurricanes earlier in the week, their line combinations took on a different look.
The top line saw Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa joined by Kris Versteeg, with Brandon Saad dropping to the second line with Antoine Vermette and Patrick Sharp. Andrew Desjardins also slotted into the lineup for the first time, joining the third line alongside Brad Richards and Bryan Bickell. The fourth line remained intact with Joakim Nordstrom and Andrew Shaw skating as wingers for Marcus Kruger.
The Blackhawks did also have Johnny Oduya and Patrick Kane in the house for Thursday’s workout, but neither player took part.
Kane was simply visiting his teammates, and Oduya, who has been working out aggressively to try to get back into the lineup, is getting closer to on-ice action, but isn’t quite ready yet.
The big change in the lineup came with Desjardins’ addition to the mix, which meant that Teuvo Teravainen was out of the regular rotation for the practice. That doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s out of the lineup for Friday’s game against the Oilers, but Joel Quenneville did say after the practice that he wanted to see Desjardins play, which would likely indicate that’s the way he’s leaning.