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Kane, Sharp Back In The Groove Again

Saturday, 12.06.2008 / 11:00 AM / Features
By Dan Rosen  - NHL.com senior writer
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Kane, Sharp Back In The Groove Again
It didn\'t take long for Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp to re-discover their chemistry from last season.
Patrick Kane says he doesn't care who his linemates are. In fact, the super-skilled 20-year-old even told NHL.com that if Chicago coach Joel Quenneville put him with Craig Adams and Colin Fraser, a pair of grinders, he would find a way to mesh.

While that's not likely to happen, Quenneville did re-unite Kane with Patrick Sharp last weekend, and the chemistry the two developed last season instantly returned.

Kane and Sharp, who are playing with left wing Troy Brouwer, combined for both of the Blackhawks' goals in their 5-2 loss in Los Angeles last Saturday. They combined for one more in Wednesday's 4-2 victory against Anaheim at the United Center.

"The thing is, me and Sharpie have so much chemistry on the ice," Kane told NHL.com. "We always seem to find each other and we have fun doing it. We love scoring goals and making plays. In the end, that only helps the team."
   
Kane (12-17-29) and Sharp (14-9-23) were playing with Jonathan Toews in the middle for most of last season. However, until last weekend, Kane and Sharp hadn't played together under Quenneville.

Sharp was centering his own line, with Brouwer and Martin Havlat, while Kane had spent the bulk of November on the right side of Toews and rookie Kris Versteeg, who is making a strong case to follow Kane as a Calder Trophy winner.

However, Versteeg went three straight games without a goal, and Kane hadn't scored in two straight. Plus, the Hawks were shut out, 1-0, by Anaheim the night before they played the Kings, so Quenneville changed the lines for the first time since taking the job.

"When you don't score is when I want to try different things and see how different combinations are going to look," Quenneville told reporters in Los Angeles. "They (Sharp and Kane) seem to have a nice little bit of chemistry amongst each other. Whether it's a regular shift or a power play together, there's something there."

Kane said that something can be explosive. It's different from when he plays with Toews, who is the Blackhawks' most defensively responsible top-six forward.

"With Sharpie, it's all about, 'Let's go score goals,'" Kane said. "With Toews, it's about, 'Let's go control the game.' Either way it works great, but I just think we can be more explosive and dynamic with me and Sharpie together."

He said it -- Patrick Kane, talking to NHL.com about Saturday's Central Division showdown against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena:

"Every game against them is a fun game. You get up for it. They're a great team and in my opinion they are even better than last year. We played them once this year and it was really entertaining (Detroit won, 6-5 in a shootout). It was a fun game to be a part of. It was one of the most fun games I've played in. There was a lot of action back and forth. You look at Saturday, and I don't know if you say a preview for the Winter Classic, but we'll get more used to them for that time. We can get a lot of confidence from a win against them."
   
Contact Dan Rosen at drosen@nhl.com.


Author: Dan Rosen | NHL.com Staff Writer