The Chicago Blackhawks won their second game of the season with a 4-3 come from behind victory over the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the 1st period on two redirected shots by Jim Slater. After scoring the second goal, Chicago coach, Joel Quenneville promptly burned his one and only time out to slow the momentum and get his team re-focused.
A little over two minutes later, the Blackhawks got on board with a power play goal from Andrew Burnette, his second goal of the season. Then with a little over 3:00 to play in the period, Patrick Kane drilled a wicked one-timer on a beautiful pass from Marian Hossa past Jets G, Ondrej Pavalec to tie the score going into the break.
The Blackhawks didn’t waste much time taking their first lead of the game when 0:33 into the second period, Marian Hossa netted a slap shot from the high slot on a well-executed give-and-go with D Nick Leddy; Patrick Kane assisted on the goal for his third point in the game. The Hawks sealed the deal later in the period when Dave Bolland scored his third goal of the season on a behind the net feed from W Bryan Bickell. Bolland’s wrister managed to squeak past Pavalec to give the Hawks the eventual game-winning goal. The Jets’ Kyle Wellwood snuck a back handed shot past a spralling Ray Emery to make things interesting, but proved to be of no avail as the Hawks managed to keep the Jets scoreless in the third to hang onto the 4-3 victory.
W Daniel Carcillo made his Hawks debut last night and made his presence felt right away with several bone crushing hits early on. As is his specialty, he agitates and gets under the opponents skin. He managed to avoid getting into a fight with D Mark Stuart, though Stuart was looking for a scrap to motivate his team.
Patrick Kane looks like he’s easing into his role as the #2 center. I wasn’t sold on the idea when I first learned about it as I didn’t like breaking up the Toews & Kane chemistry. I don’t know if this is the permanent solution to the #2 center problem for the Hawks, but is does allow them to trot out three solid lines.
The third line of Bolland, Bickell and Frolik impressed me as I was watching them. By the end of the first period, I thought to myself, “This line will score before the night is out,” because they were generating a lot of energy and a lot of scoring chances early on. Their goal in the second proved me right.
I was a little surprised to see Ray Emery in net seeing as the Hawks haven’t played since last Saturday, but with two games in three days, perhaps Coach “Q” was saving Crawford for Saturday night’s game against Boston.
All in all, I’m pleased at the effort from the revamped Blackhawks so far. It’s early, but the added grit and character has paid some dividends so far. D Steve Montador made his presence felt last night after Jets’ D Dustin Byfuglien took a little poke at Emery after the whistle. Emery got into Byfuglien’s face a bit. F Jamal Mayers has already been involved in one fight so far. Brunette has shown himself to be a valuable presence in front of the net on offense, and we’ve already noted Carcillo’s contribution. We’ll have to see if the chemistry will improve with this new roster, but one thing is for sure: The Hawks will get their fair share of hits this season.
Next: The Boston Bruins on Saturday, October 15, 2011