Captain Jonathan Toews was left off the scoring sheet in his first visit to face his hometown team, but this was not the case Wednesday night. The captain scored early in the game and blazed a trail for the rest of his team to follow. The final score of 4-1 left the Blackhawks victorious. Toews said in the post-game presser that “It’s always nice to see a couple go in here and there. We had another good, collective effort.”
I couldn’t agree more. Chicago skated with strength and confidence on the ice at the United Center. Compared to the Jets, the Hawks look almost graceful as they drove the puck hard to the net and pulled off elegant passes. The team is unifying so beautifully, and it is paying off.
Now is the time for the Hawks to begin their ascent to the very top of the Western division. This is feasible, especially if the Hawks continue to skate like the well-oiled machine they have been of late.
Each player is contributing something to the lineup, but there are some emerging stars here early in this 2013-14 season who shone brightly against the Jets. Rookie Brandon Pirri is no doubt one of those stars. The kid is on fire and has the best guidance to continue on his upward trajectory. He makes the most of his ice time and was able to score a goal for the Hawks on Wednesday night.
Patrick Sharp is another star whose talent shone as bright as midday sun on Wednesday. Sharp is such a multidimensional player for the Blackhawks; he has the ability to block shots, assist and score goals, all three of which he did Wednesday night against Winnipeg. When you have a guy like that out on the ice with Toews and Marian Hossa, carnage will likely follow.
While the players mentioned above are undoubtedly a part of the clutch offense that has emerged with the Blackhawks, the defense is not shy of greatness either. The defense was a saving grace for the Hawks at the start of the season while the rest of the team was trying to find their stride. And let’s face it, I could write novels about the greatness of Corey Crawford — but I’ll leave it at that.
No question about it — the talent that fills the Hawks’ roster and their ability to work together will lead them to the top of the division and to another Stanley Cup victory. The fact that we can garner all of this evidence from just one game in Winnipeg is all the more incredible. Look out world — here come the Hawks.