Heading into Thursday night’s tilt between the Chicago Blackhawks and Phoenix Coyotes, the main headline was obviously the return of Raffi Torres. It was the second time the Hawks have visited the desert this year, but the first in which the most hated man in Chicago would be on the ice against them.
We heard plenty of what you’d probably expect from the Hawks. That the two points were what was most important and getting actual revenge on Torres was probably better served falling to the wayside. They’re revenge for Torres and the Coyotes came on more than just the scoreboard though.
The Hawks went into a not-nearly-full Jobing.com Arena that was as full as Blackhawk fans as it has been in quite some time. What followed was an absolute smackdown in favor of the Blackhawks, who still have yet to lose a regulation game this season.
Less than three minutes into the game, Jamal Mayers dropped the gloves with Torres. Some people had a problem with that, given that it halted play and a potential offensive rush early on. I had no problem with it. It got it out of the way early and it was actually a very nice scrap.
But the Hawks did exactly what they said they were going to do. They did their damage and got their revenge on the scoreboard. Halfway through the first, it was pretty clear that the Blackhawks had every intention of getting those two points.
The final score of the game was 6-2, and it probably shouldn’t have even been that close. The Blackhawks skated circles around the Coyotes for the second time this season. They actually probably could have won this one by 10 or 11 goals.
Patrick Kane dazzled with a couple of nice plays. Jonathan Toews had a beautiful move to score a goal of his own. The third line continued to play effective hockey. The blue line that was tossed around by this Coyotes team last spring was anything but timid. It was a fantastic effort.
Between Mayers sticking it to Torres early, though the tilt could probably be considered a draw as both got plenty of good punches in, and the absolute dominance on offense, combined with the lack of composure from the Coyotes, who drew multiple unsportsmanlike penalties, it’s safe to say they got their revenge.
Once again, it’s absolutely 100 percent clear that this is a different Hawks team than we’ve seen in the past couple of seasons. They’re as focused as anyone has seen them in a while, and it’s obviously showing up in the standings. This is a team to be reckoned with. Just ask the Coyotes.