Chicago Blackhawks top line remains in flux
It looks like Viktor Tikhonov may get a chance to skate with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa when the Hawks play Florida on Thursday at the United Center.
Tikhonov, who drew praise from Hossa after Saturday's win over Columbus, has had a couple of chances on the top line so far. He also has been a healthy scratch twice.
When it comes to finding the right chemistry in the lines, does coach Joel Quenneville ever ask the players for their thoughts?
"You can talk to different players at times," Quenneville said. "But certain players only. Guys with experience, sometimes you'll ask them what they're thinking and their opinions. It's very important."
Keith placed on LTIR:
The Blackhawks put Duncan Keith on long-term injured reserve Wednesday. Keith, who underwent surgery to repair a meniscal tear in his right knee, is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
Coach Joel Quenneville said he didn't anticipate a trade or the Hawks calling anybody up in the near future.
As for Keith's mindset, Brent Seabrook was able to talk with his longtime teammate Tuesday night.
"He loves to be out there, he loves to play, loves to be at the rink, loves to be around the guys," Seabrook said. "Anytime that's taken away from him for a bit, he's definitely disappointed. But he's going to be ready to go and better for it."
The defensive pairings at practice Wednesday were Trevor van Riemsdyk with Niklas Hjalmarsson; Trevor Daley with David Rundblad and Viktor Svedberg with Brent Seabrook. … Bryan Bickell was not on any of the four lines at practice, which could indicate he'll be a healthy scratch Thursday.
Scouting reportBlackhawks (3-3-0) vs. Florida Panthers (3-2-1) at the United Center, 7:30 p.m. Thursday
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Radio: WGN 720-AM
The skinny: The last time Florida was at the United Center, Patrick Kane suffered a broken collarbone when defenseman Alex Petrovic pushed Kane into the boards. Kane missed the rest of the regular season. ... Forty-three year-old Jaromir Jagr leads the Panthers with 7 points (4 goals). ... The Hawks won both meetings last season, one in a shootout.
Next: Tampa Bay Lightning at United Center, 7:30 p.m. Saturday
-- John Dietz