Breathe easy, Hawks fans; the Blackhawks will not go winless this year. In fact, it looks like the team could actually live up to some of the preseason hype. A few things stood out in the win:
- Khabibulin was a monster in the net. He has at least earned consideration to share time equally with newcomer Huet. Bulin made 29 saves on 30 shots, many of them were spectacular, including a sprawling save after doing a 180 and a pad save (and a beauty) on a rebound during a 5 on 3. Sometimes it takes great goaltending to get a team going and when Khabibulin made a handful of great saves while only giving up one goal, the team picked him up.
- There were also some huge hits. Dustin Byfuglien was his usual bad-ass self and rookie Aaron Johnson laid out a Coyote player in the second period. If guys like these two can continue to bring the physical play while Havlat, Toews, Kane, and Sharp provide the scoring, the Hawks will be playing more than 82 games this year. Sometimes a big hit can really get a team going. See where I'm going?
- Finally, the playmakers made plays. The Hawks got goals from Havlat, which was an amazing goal as you can see in the highlight, Sharp, and Campbell last night. Havlat's one man show for a backhand goal opened the scoring for the Hawks and as Toews mentioned, really loosened things up on the bench. Sometimes it takes great goals from your playmakers to get a team going.