Take a sigh of relief, Chicago Blackhawks fans. They’re still the team you remember. It seems all they were missing was a certain Slovak veteran. Yes, Marian Hossa‘s back and he took no prisoners against the still-hated Detroit Red Wings. Hossa had a goal and two assists during a 4-1 romping that not only kept the Blackhawks in the playoff chase, but may have put a severe dent in their old rivals’ playoff hopes.
Hossa put on a show, skating circles around the depleted Red Wings, and so did his team. While the first period was scoreless and tight, the Hawks broke through in the second period on goals by Nick Leddy (on the power play) and Ben Smith (which at first appeared to be by Bryan Bickell). While the Red Wings scored on their own power play thanks to Gustav Nyquist, the Hawks were too much for Detroit. Hossa scored a goal that required a doctor, it was so sick. Jonathan Toews beat Jimmy Howard on the penalty kill to finish off the Red Wings.
If there is a game that should give this team momentum, this was it. The Hawks played exceptionally well, apparently getting the message that head coach Joel Quenneville appeared to send them after their embarrassing loss to the Nashville Predators. They skated well, shot aggressively (despite being shut down near the end of the first period) and even scored on the power play. This was the Blackhawks team of old.
Now the Blackhawks just have to build off this win. It’s been said several times before, but now the warnings must be heeded. In all likelihood, they’ll have to play the Colorado Avalanche in the playoffs, and there are no excuses for poor play. But enough of that. This was a good game for the Hawks and now that they have Hossa back, they should be ready to go.