Everything came together for Hawks
January, 9, 2011
By Jesse Rogers
CHICAGO -- Fast start? Check.
Penalty kill solid? Check.
No third-period meltdown? Checkmate.
Led by their stars, the Chicago Blackhawks played a solid 60-minute game in defeating the New York Islanders 5-0 on Sunday. Their core contributed, as a group, about as
well as it has all season.
“[Marian Hossa] had a great game,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “[Patrick] Sharp, [Patrick] Kane ... you can mention several guys in that group. [Jonathan Toews] and that line was good as well. I think we are getting a little bit of everything from all the lines and there’s some purpose behind it as well.”
Hossa had a three-point second period while Kane and Sharp each had a goal and an assist. Dave Bolland, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and Brian Campbell all had points as well. Starting to get the picture? All are holdovers from last year’s championship team.
“For whatever reason, tonight we were passing the puck and moving,” Hossa said. “We were building on each shift to be more dominant in their zone.”
It’s called chemistry and the Hawks showed it against a hot Islanders team. But why tonight?
“There has been a lot of line juggling and bodies going everywhere,” Sharp said. “Lots of injuries. So it’s nice to get everyone back healthy and play a stretch of games together.”
Sharp wasn’t the only one talking about consistency and seeing the same people on the same line.
“The lines are clicking,” Bolland said. “Everyone is coming together now. We haven’t been mixing the lines up, we’ve had some time together. I think all four lines have been rolling.”
Maybe so, but it was the stars of the 2010 Stanley Cup who drove the bus, playing in front of the stars of the 1961 Cup team on the celebration of their 50th anniversary of their championship.
“It was great to see those guys,” Hossa said. “Those little things inspire you and give you extra jump.”
If the Hawks want to make a jump in the standings then this is the formula -- veteran stars leading the way with the role players chipping in. For one night, at least, it all came together.
“I think the one in the third, [Josh Bailey] kind of cradled it a little bit and then shot it. I’m just happy to get the win.”
Crawford says even with a lopsided score he wasn’t thinking about the shutout.
“No, no, it’s always about next shot,” he said.
“I’m not thinking about that too much,” Sharp said. “I said before, it’s out of my control.”
“I’d like to see Buff [Dustin Byfuglien].”