CHICAGO -- When the Chicago Blackhawks say they feel as if anyone can be the difference on any given night, they’re not exaggerating.
Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook was the latest player to step up. He provided the game winner in a 4-3 overtime victory Friday over the Columbus Blue Jackets, and he became the 12th different Blackhawk to score a game winner during their 16 regulation and overtime victories this season.
As much as the top line has produced in the clutch -- Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews have totaled five game-winning goals -- the other 11 game winners have been distributed among 10 individuals. Marcus Kruger, who has played on the second and fourth lines, is the only other player with multiple game winners.
Seabrook wouldn’t take much credit for his score Friday, though. He wasn’t even sure he had anything to do with it off a no-look pass from Toews.
“To be honest, I didn’t expect [Toews] to make that pass,” Seabrook said. “He didn’t look at me once. I didn’t yell. He’s pretty good in those situations. I just let him do his thing. I was saying to [Ray Emery], 'I don’t think I shot the puck.' It was such a hard pass; it just hit my stick and bounced in. It was good to get the win.”
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was impressed from the start of the play to its completion.
“That was a great play on the wall. Great play, great pass, great finish,” Quenneville said.
Hossa said the Blackhawks believe now they’re capable of winning any game no matter the situation. Friday’s win was the third time this season the Blackhawks defeated the Blue Jackets by one goal, and their 11th one-goal victory overall this year.
“That’s what happens when you got the confidence,” Hossa said. “You’re not worried about losing games even when they’re so tight or you’re falling behind. We got four even lines. It was a big goal by [Bryan] Bickell tonight, and overtime winner again. Anybody can score.”
And again, the Blackhawks added two more points to their NHL-record 21-game points streak to start a season. They’re now 18-0-3.
Quenneville was asked Friday whether he’s ever thought, “Wow, I can’t believe we’re doing this.”
“I might have said it once,” Quenneville said with a large laugh. “No, we’re definitely pleased. We’re very happy going into that [current] game, and that’s the game.
“The consistency of that one road trip [six games] and coming home with a seven-game homestand, we were excited how the games were ending up, knowing the next game everybody is ready and gunning for you and trying to do what they could do. I just think the perseverance of the guys should be commended.”