Friday, November 7, 2008

Blackhawks Week in Review

Well I missed the last week in review, so we'll just focus on the three game winning streak the Hawks are on now. Ah, sure there was a loss to Minnesota in there, but who remembers? Positive thoughts!

The first victim on the streak was Dallas. The Hawks beat the Stars 5-2, behind three points from Patrick Kane. The penalty kill helped seal the win, denying Dallas on all five of its chances, including a 1-minute-plus 5 on 3. Quenneville pointed out that not scoring on a two man advantage usually leads to a loss. I don't know how good his research is on that, but I'm taking it as gospel at this point.

Columbus was next on the Blackhawk pain train, as Chicago prevailed in a shootout. Cristobal Huet made 48 saves, including eight in overtime and all three in the shootout. Quenneville called it a "goalie win," but everyone still wins, right? The Blue Jackets were 1 for 10 on the power play and their 51 shots...wait, 1 for 10 on the power play?!! Man, how do you lose with 10 power plays? You shouldn't even be able to call them "power" plays if you're 1 for 10. After the start of this season, it's good to see other teams struggle with the man advantage.

The latest win on the run came Monday against the Avs. The Hawks moved to 6-3-3 at home on the year, which is great news since the next four games will be in the United Center. Patrick Sharp and Andrew Ladd each had two goals and an assist, helping push the Blackhawks to their best start in seven years. Quenneville must feel good to get the win against his old team, as he moved to 5-1-2 as head coach.

Even if this thing ends at three games, these streaks are typical of playoff bound teams. You string wins together and take care of business at home, and you'll be growing healthy playoff beards in the Spring. Unless you're Patrick Kane.

Looking Ahead:

Three games coming up this week as Calgary, Boston, and St. Louis will all come to the United Center. The first two should be good tests against teams that should battle for their respective division titles. Then the Blackhawks had better beat St. Louis a week from today. You should never lose to St. Louis.

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