Thursday, November 17, 2011
Hawks hope to keep streak going
By Jesse Rogers
CALGARY -- Just how impressive is the Chicago Blackhawks' current four-game winning streak? Considering this is just the fifth time since 1974 the Hawks have won this many games in a row by three goals or more it’s pretty impressive.
The last time they achieved the feat was in their championship year from Dec. 31, 2009 to Jan. 7, 2010. That streak lasted five games. Before that it had been 14 years since they beat four teams in a row by three goals or more. And they’re nearly halfway to the league record of nine straight wins by three or more goals achieved by the Boston Bruins in 1971, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“When you’re riding these streaks you want to keep them going,” Patrick Kane said after practice Thursday. “Everyone in the lineup is contributing right now. We seem to be scoring a lot of goals. We’re getting better right now.”
That’s the key. The Hawks are improving whereas in October they were just getting by and not necessarily taking steps forward.
“Even though we were winning [earlier] I never felt like we were blowing anyone out or had a game where it was really in hand where we were happy about it,” Kane said. “Definitely a good roll to get on right now.”
Duncan Keith didn’t know he played 12:19 in the second period Wednesday but agreed it’s a huge amount of time on the ice for one period. “I’m not sure what my shift length was in the second period there, but I know I had a lot of shifts,” Keith said. “There were lots of shifts there, and sometimes you have the long [line] change and it’s tough to get off. It was an exciting game to be part of.”
The win over Vancouver could have gone differently if not for a huge save by Corey Crawford early in the third period. The Hawks were up just 2-1 when Jannik Hansen grabbed an errant pass by Keith and took off on a breakaway.“I was just trying to get out far,” Crawford said Thursday. “Sometimes you get caught. They’re coming in so fast you don’t get to go out as far as you want to play the gap the right way, the way you want to play it. I was able to get out there quick and early and gain some speed and judge his speed.”
There was some dispute whether Jonathan Toews had touched the puck on Kane’s power play goal in the second period before it went in but both parties agreed it was Kane’s goal. “He [Toews] told me right away he didn’t score it,” Kane said. Dan Carcillo also said he never touched the puck on a shot by Patrick Sharp that squeezed through goalie Cory Schneider in the third period.
Steve Montador added two more points to a growing total. He has six in his last four games. “I’d like to stick at a pace like that, everybody would,” Montador said grinning.Montador wore a visor in Wednesday’s game. “There are some bumps and bruises there,” he said. “I won’t go into detail. It’s for protection.”
The Hawks practiced at the “Corral” on Thursday. It’s located across the street from the Saddledome and use to house Calgary’s team. Quenneville has some good memories playing in the building.“Not one night,” he joked. “I think they scored 13 on us, one game. I don’t know how many [minuses he had] but it was more than one.”
On Thursday, Hawks’ players took off their skates after practice and walked over to the Saddledome in full uniform before changing into street clothes.