Fittest loser
Article updated: 5/22/2013 7:09 PM

Line juggling makes sense to create scoring chances

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Q. It looks like the Blackhawks are going with Patrick Sharp on the top line and moving Brandon Saad to the second line. Your thoughts?

A. I think they're looking for a combination that can start creating some goals. When you're not scoring goals, you want to try and change things up a little bit.

That's an option for Joel Quenneville and it seemed to generate some chances in Game 3, so it makes sense that he would try that. He can always switch it if he doesn't think it's working in Game 4.

Q. Did you ever go through a goal-scoring drought like Jonathan Toews is in right now? How do you not think about it and grip the stick tighter?

A. I did go through a lot of those games (laughs). His eight games are nothing compared to what I went through.

I was more of a role player in my career. For your top-line offensive guys it's a lot more frustrating than it would've been for me.

You always want to keep a positive mindset, but in the back of your mind you know that you haven't scored and you know that you're expected to add some offense. And then the longer it goes on, the harder it is to deal with.

Jonathan is a pretty positive person, and when something finally goes his way, it's really going to spur on a great offensive surge.

Q. How much did you like the Blackhawks' performance in Game 3 as compared to the previous game?

A. I liked the effort. I think they did a lot of things well. But obviously whatever they did in that game it wasn't good enough.

They created some scoring chances, but the secondary chances they were looking for were blocked out by the defense and the defensive structure of the Red Wings. And Jimmy Howard did an excellent job.

There were some negatives in that game. After the Red Wings' first goal, 31 seconds later they're up 2-0 and that completely changed the tone of the game.

You look at the control of the game, when the game was on the line, and it was completely in favor of Detroit as far as faceoffs. That's got to get better. It's a huge, huge part of what happened.

Q. How do you fix the faceoff issue?

A. As a former centerman, you've got to do what you've got to do. You have to have a much better focus because the Red Wings controlled the game because they were controlling the faceoffs.

You've got to bear down. It seemed like every time Detroit was taking a faceoff on their power play they were winning it and setting up the offense.

For the Blackhawks, they were losing it on their power play and chasing it down the ice. Those were critical moments.

Troy Murray is in his 13th year as a member of the Blackhawks broadcast team and his eighth year as the color analyst for the team's radio broadcasts. The Selke Award winner was a five-time 20-goal scorer and a veteran of 15 years in the NHL, playing in 915 career games.

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