Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010
By Tracey Myers
Tomas Kopecky doesnt dwell on his outings very long, good or bad. The Chicago Blackhawks winger said he usually takes about five minutes to think about it then moves on.
Still, even he had to revel in his career-best, four-point night on Tuesday a little longer.
Its always nice. You get a little bit more energy and it feels good, Kopecky said. On the other hand its only one game and you have to keep it for 82 games. I just try not to get too high or low and just stay right in the middle.
Kopeckys Tuesday was definitely a high after a couple low games earlier this season. Four-point games aside, the Blackhawks, missing Marian Hossa for a few more games, need Kopecky to get that steady offensive output he had at the start of the season, when he and linematefellow Slovak Hossa were surging.
Tuesday was stellar, and his teammates were impressed.
They made the announcement that he had a goal and three assists and I thought, Wow, he had that? Awesome, Patrick Kane said. He made some great plays on pretty much every goal hes been on, so thats good to see out of him. Hopefully that gives him some confidence. Especially with Hossa out of the lineup, were going to need a guy like him.
Kopecky was successful in setting up goals on Tuesday; he was strong there early this season, when he recorded assists in six of his first seven games. He had a sizeable lull after that, however, recording just one goal over a months span. The Blackhawks were struggling as a team, and Hossa missed five games with an upper-body injury.
The two do have an obvious report on the ice, and Kopecky may have missed that.
Maybe a little, he said. You play with a guy for 15 games you get the feel for each other and you know what to expect. Somebody else comes in and you have to adjust. The sooner you do the better you are. Its all about making changes.
Change was good on Tuesday, when Kopecky was with Patrick Sharp and recent Rockford call-up Jeremy Morin. The three clicked instantly and collected seven points against the Blues.
Kopecky has a plus-5 rating over his last three games. Hes also one assist off his career high of 13 set with the Detroit Red Wings in 2008-09. Kopeckys big task is crashing the net and creating traffic, but his teammates said theyd like to see him shoot more.
Id like to see him shoot more unless Im open and then I want him to pass to me, Sharp joked. Hes got a great shot. Hes got a great release and that thing just pops off the stick. He usually does the dirty work and hes good at it. But when hes got an opportunity to fire one wed all like to see him do it.
Said Kane, hes got one of the best shots Ive ever seen. You saw his goal the other night; it kind of overpowers the goalie and gets right through him. Id love to see him do it more. We were talking about some of the goals he had last year when he just ripped shots and beat the goalie. Hopefully he keeps doing that.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.