The Blackhawks needed to get back on track, needed to start finding chemistry in their lines and, most important, needed two points.
They did all of that on Sunday in their 3-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. It was a game that featured a little bit of everything and one off which the Blackhawks could build. So before we call it an early night – thank you for the afternoon game, NHL schedulers – let’s look at Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ victory over Winnipeg.
1. Kane sets a new record. It was a pass, but not the pass you’d expect from Kane, that gave him a franchise-best, 22-game point streak on Sunday. But in a game when the Blackhawks were obviously doing everything they could to help Kane keep that point streak going, it’s not about style points. Bryan Bickell, who’s back with the Blackhawks, enjoyed being here for this one. “To see him get it with 80 seconds left was nice,” Bickell said. “I’ve been watching on highlights; he’s a special player. It’s fun to watch.”
2. Hope Trevor Daley is OK. When you see a stretcher come onto the ice for a player, you just kind of hold your breath and hope for the best. Daley, who was falling forward when he took a knee to his head in the second period, ultimately didn’t need that stretcher. How Daley is going forward remains to be seen. Coach Joel Quenneville should know tomorrow, so for now we’ll take Daley going off under his own power as a good sign.
3. Bickell is back. Bickell said prior to the game that he didn’t play his most physical during his month-long stint in Rockford, fearing an injury could hurt his chances of returning to the Blackhawks. He saved a big hit for his first game back, however, leveling former teammate Dustin Byfuglien late in the first period. Said Kane, “That was awesome. We all like Big Buff over here, but I think that's something we're missing a little bit from our team game. It kind of set the tone for the game.”
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4. Teravainen gets back on the score sheet. Teravainen said he’s still trying to find his game, but he could get a boost of confidence from his game-winning goal, his first goal since Nov. 4 (against the St. Louis Blues). Teravainen is back on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. It didn’t work previously in part because Teravainen looked hesitant, like he needed to pass to his veteran line mates more than necessary. He needs to shoot when he can; he saw on Sunday that can work.
5. Kruger no goal, no problem. Marcus Kruger almost had his first goal of the season but it was disallowed, ruled that it went in with a distinct kicking motion. Quenneville had no problem with that – “it looked incidental but the follow through was the part that… made it easier for them.” The Blackhawks shrugged it off, with Hossa scoring late in the first period to get that early 1-0 lead.