There’s no doubt that the Chicago Blackhawks are among the NHL‘s elite teams. Prior to their tilt on Thursday with the Dallas Stars, the Hawks had won their first three games, two of them in convincing fashion.
But what we hadn’t seen from the Hawks was an ability to rise up above adversity. This team can win, but can they come from behind and win? Could they claw their way into a game with their backs up against the wall? Could we squeeze any more cliches into this article?
The Hawks found themselves down 2-0 against the Stars, on the road, against a hot goaltender in Kari Lehtonen. The 2011-12 Hawks would have let their frustrations get the best of them. They would have folded and probably lost by that same score. Not this team.
For the most part, it was a couple of bad breaks that put the Hawks in that hole. A soft goal allowed by Corey Crawford and a defensive lapse that left Ray Whitney all alone in front of him were the outliers in a game otherwise dominated by the Blackhawks. But those bad breaks had a way of getting to the Hawks last year.
They kept up the forecheck, which has been strong all year. They really prevented the Stars from generating much of anything offensively. And they scored on the power play. Three times. These are things that have made the Blackhawks very successful in the early-going this year. And that we didn’t see from them last year.
Even early in the season, it’s hard to overstate how big of a win this is for the Blackhawks. The past couple of seasons, we’ve seen them stumble throughout the regular season and back into the playoffs. An early season victory over a conference opponent, especially one that required them to come from behind, is a tremendous win for this team. It helps them to keep building confidence and it’s one less must-win game in March or April.
This Hawks team is for real. Showing that they can come from behind proved that they are a club to be reckoned with this year.