Ehrhoff try­ing to earn a spot

Chicago Sun-Times - - BLACKHAWKS BEAT - BY MARK LAZERUS Staff Reporter Fol­low me on Twit­ter @MarkLazerus. Email: mlazerus@sun­times.com

The Black­hawks are de­fense­man Chris­tian Ehrhoff’s fourth NHL team in less than two years and his sixth over­all. But just be­cause he’s used to adapt­ing to a new team’s style, sys­tems and staff, that doesn’t make it any eas­ier.

“No, it doesn’t re­ally get eas­ier,” he said. “It’s the same thing. You’ve got to know the guys and the staff, and it takes a lit­tle while. But this is a great team and a great group of guys, and they made me feel wel­come from the start.”

So far, the tran­si­tion has been pretty smooth, as Ehrhoff played well in his first two games with the Hawks. But he hardly has a spot in the lineup locked up, and he was a healthy scratch Sun­day against the Red Wings as coach Joel Quen­neville put Michal Roz­si­val back in. Ehrhoff is com­pet­ing with Roz­si­val and pos­si­bly Erik Gustafs­son for a reg­u­lar spot in the lineup when the play­offs be­gin in about amonth.

Ehrhoff played along­side Trevor van Riems­dyk in road games against the Red Wings and Bru­ins, and he wasn’t hes­i­tant to showoff the of­fen­sive skills that made him a premier player for the Sharks and Canucks. He had seven shots on goal in the two games and had an as­sist in the loss to the Bru­ins.

The 33- year- old Ger­man didn’t work out in Los An­ge­les this sea­son but feels he’s a bet­ter fit in Chicago.

“The sys­tem, I think, is com­ple­men­tary tomy game,” Ehrhoff said. “I just went out there and played the first cou­ple of games, and it was a good start for me.”

Many play­ers, par­tic­u­larly cen­ters and de­fense­men, have strug­gled early on with the Hawks’ quick- think­ing, puck- mov­ing style. But Ehrhoff thinks he’ll get the hang of it quickly. With less than five weeks to win over Quen­neville, he’ll need to.

“The sys­tem is def­i­nitely dif­fer­ent, and there are things that I have to ad­just to and pick up along the way,” he said. “It’ll be a work in progress, but that’ll come along the way.”

| DUANE BURLESON/ AP

Vet­eran de­fense­man Chris­tian Ehrhoff says the Black­hawks’ sys­tem is com­ple­men­tary to his game.

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