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Saskatoon Blades finding team chemistry at just the right time

Click to play video 'Saskatoon Blades finding team chemistry at just the right time' Saskatoon Blades finding team chemistry at just the right time
WATCH: The Blades have gone 6-3-1 since the trade deadline.

The Saskatoon Blades had a big roster turnover at the Jan.10 trade deadline, bringing four new players into the locker room.

However, the team has gone 6-3-1-0 in the 10 games since, and are finding chemistry at the right time, with just 19 games left in the regular season.

“The guys have done a good job of welcoming them to our culture here,” said head coach Mitch Love.

“[We’ve] played a lot of hockey since the trade deadline; I think we just finished playing six games in nine nights. You know, it’s a credit to our leadership group in the dressing room and making sure those guys are welcomed.”
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“I think we’re definitely starting to get to know each other a lot better,” forward Kyle Crnkovic added.

“We know that this is the team that we’re going to be going with, so I think it’s kind of easier to settle down and I think that everyone’s settled in, and it’s been awesome.”

The Blades team-first mentality has been one of their biggest strengths this season, and it’s continued with their new additions into the second half.

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“We’re all really close and I think that’s a really big part of our team right now,” goaltender Nolan Maier said.

“We don’t really have cliques, everyone’s kind of together and that’s really important going into this final stretch and eventually the playoffs.”

New line combinations were to be expected with the injection of new players into the lineup, and none has been more lethal than the trio of Tristan Robins, Martin Fasko-Rudas and Crnkovic.

They’ve combined for 42 points in just nine games together.

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“It’s been awesome. We’ve had a lot of chemistry lately, we’re good friends off the ice and it just translates on the ice,” Crnkovic said. “Obviously we’ve been doing pretty good lately, so we’re just trying to keep that going.”

“I think all three guys really like each other, and I think that’s key,” Love added. “Hockey aside, they have a lot of fun on the ice in practice.

“They’re competitive kids and they like to try to score and help us out offensively.”