Entwistle, Katchouk doing their best to power up Blackhawks fourth line

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Blackhawks' MacKenzie Entwistle celebrates his goal against the Oilers during the third period on Wednesday. Entwistle and Boris Katchouk scored their first goals of the season Wednesday night against the Oilers, which is just one piece of the puzzle in trying to end their losing streak.

    Blackhawks' MacKenzie Entwistle celebrates his goal against the Oilers during the third period on Wednesday. Entwistle and Boris Katchouk scored their first goals of the season Wednesday night against the Oilers, which is just one piece of the puzzle in trying to end their losing streak. Associated Press

 
By Kyle Leverone
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/1/2022 5:28 PM

It's pretty difficult to build the top floor of a house without building the basement first.

The same thing goes for hockey.

 

A team can't just have a stellar top line. They can have a penthouse-esque starting five, but if there's nothing there to support them, the team will come crumbling down, The Blackhawks have themselves a solid top-three with center Jonathan Toews, wingers Patrick Kane and Andreas Athanasiou, but the more you descend the stairs, the less sturdy it becomes. That's been especially true during their eight-game skid.

That is until Wednesday night.

Wingers MacKenzie Entwistle and Boris Katchouk both scored their first goals of the season against he Oilers.

The Hawks lost, but the production from that fourth line is what they need to help snap the losing streak.

"It's about building blocks," Entwistle said after the game, "and tonight was a big building block for us ... For us to get that couple points tonight and get on the board is a big confidence booster for us. Now, it's just about putting a couple games together and doing that night in and night out."

Katchouk scored the first goal for the Blackhawks in the second period Wednesday night with a Jack Johnson shot from the point that deflected off Katchouk's rear end.

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It's not the flashiest way to score a goal, but, hey, sometimes a dirty, greasy goal is better than a clean one.

"It'll be great for the guys to be on the road," Luke Richardson said of the team's upcoming three-game East Coast road trip, "we don't have to play flashy or think we do (like) at home, and we just play simple and maybe we go to the net a little more, shoot a little more and get pucks, like our first goal last night off the (butt) of someone's pants. We need a couple of those and then we keep them out of the other end and get a win, kind of like an ugly win. Sometimes that propels you."

And that's basically what that fourth line is for: dirty, greasy goals. Richardson knows it, and the fourth line knows it.

"When we're playing our game, and we're getting pucks in and using our size and getting on the body a little bit, protecting pucks down low, I think that's when we get our offensive chance, Entwistle said after Thursday's practice. "It kind of comes from hard work, and I think that's how we got our goals."

It seems as if the team is working to build this house together, but the pieces haven't fallen into place this month.

However, with an established fourth line, they might get a little bit closer to doing so.

Injury report:

The Blackhawks announced Thursday morning that defenseman Ian Mitchell had been recalled from Rockford, and defenseman Jarred Tinordi, who is dealing with a hip injury, had been sent to injured reserve. Mitchell has played in two games this season.

Richardson also said Thursday morning that goalie Alex Stalock (concussion) is "up and down," and that the team doesn't have a timetable for his return.

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