Arnason Back At Center, Brown To Wing
The Tyler Arnason experiment at wing appears to be over, for now anyway.
Blackhawks coach Trent Yawney moved Arnason back to center at practice Thursday alongside wingers Rene Bourque and Michael Holmqvist. With Arnason returning to center, Yawney shifted Curtis Brown to wing with Jim Dowd and Andy Hilbert. Yawney hopes the moves will provide a spark for both players.
[Arnason] was fairly consistent up until the Dallas game," said Yawney, who had a lengthy discussion with Arnason at the tail end of practice. "He didn't play very well in the Dallas game and he didn't play much in the 1st period against Nashville, but he responded in the 2nd and 3rd."
Curtis Brown has 1 goal and 3 assists this year and is on pace for a career low in points.
"With Brownie, we'll try to get him going," Yawney said. "We need a little more out of Curtis Brown than killing penalties."
Ruutu, Daze progressing: Tuomo Ruutu (back) skated with the team for the entire practice Thursday and said he felt good afterward. "He's making some progress," Yawney said. "We don't want him to have contact just yet. But there was a lot of skating and handling the puck, which he needs." Yawney said the next step would be putting Ruutu in situations where he has to fight through traffic and fight for position. "Contact would be the last progression." Ruutu was officially named to Finland's Olympic team Thursday. Defenseman Jaroslav Spacek will represent the Czech Republic for the third time in his career.
Eric Daze also skated with the team Thursday but did not take shots or participate in the entire practice.
Consistency is key: Pavel Vorobiev was a healthy scratch Wednesday against Nashville, but was back on the top line with Mark Bell and Kyle Calder Thursday. "He's just got to commit to being the player he was early on -- fighting through some traffic and wanting the puck," Yawney said. "He needs to have the puck to be effective, and the last couple of games you don't notice him. When you don't notice Pav, obviously he doesn't have the puck."