Hawks' top line clicks in win over Jets
November, 7, 2013
By Scott Powers
CHICAGO -- Jonathan Toews didn’t really care to talk about his own goal after the Chicago Blackhawks’ 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday.
"It’s nice," Toews simply put it.
What Toews was excited to discuss was how he, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp had played together at a different level in the win and looked like one of the league’s premier lines.
Toews and Sharp scored goals, and the trio combined for 13 shots on goal.
"I think we've shown that we can take advantage of opportunities," Toews said. "But we want to be that type of line that sustains pressure and keeps the puck alive and keeps plays alive every single shift. We know we can be dangerous on the rush and we got speed going, but, at the same time, we want to control pucks down low in their zone, not turn it over and wait for the next time to get the puck back.
"We had a couple games here and there maybe we didn’t click as much as we wanted to. But tonight, I think we got back together where we were supporting each other and being in the right areas, and you saw the chances that we got. Keep doing that; the more chances you get, the more goals you’re going to score. Try to build off that."
The line has been building momentum since Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville united them last month, when he felt his team wasn’t getting enough consistent offense. In just the past five games, the three players have combined for nine goals and nine assists. The Blackhawks have accumulated 22 goals and had a 4-0-1 record in the past five games.
"I thought they had their best game tonight," Quenneville said. "I thought they had the puck a lot, a lot of zone time, a lot of quality chances and had some production as well to show for it.”
Hossa didn’t produce a point on Wednesday, but he’s been on the score sheet often as of late. After a slow start to the season due to a back injury, Hossa has had six points in the past five games.
Sharp’s game has also been on the rise. He’s scored three of his four goals this season during the past five games.
Overall, Sharp believed they were playing well together because no one was out for himself.
"Three players that want to hold on to the puck and make plays," he said. "I don’t think you really see anybody trying to beat people one-on-one. It’s give-and-go’s. It’s moving the puck back and forth and all the three guys like to score goals. That’s a good thing."