Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011
Posted 9:59 PM Updated 11:09 PM
By Tracey Myers
Remember what we said about that checking line producing offense as well as it shuts down the oppositions? The group was at it again on Wednesday night.
Dave Bolland and Fernando Pisani had a goal and an assist each, and Corey Crawford recorded his second consecutive shutout as the Blackhawks beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-0 at the United Center.
WATCH: Pisani knows checking line having success
Brent Seabrook had two assists and Duncan Keith had one, and the defensemen were each a plus-4 on the night. It was the Blackhawks third victory in a row and fourth in their last five games, and the team is feeling good about its game.
We got a lot of confidence the last couple games, the last one especially, said Keith. I know the Islanders were on a long road trip and that was the last game, but it still gave us confidence winning the way we did and knowing we can play a full 60 minutes, create offense and play the right way.
The Blackhawks were strong throughout, shutting down a Colorado team that had scored 15 goals on them the previous three games.
Crawford was once again stellar, stopping all 24 shots he faced. He hasnt allowed a goal since Ottawas Milan Michalek scored with 1:25 remaining in regulation of the Blackhawks 3-2 shootout victory over the Senators.
WATCH: Coach Q happy with Crawford
Ive always been confident. It doesnt change, no matter what the situation is, Crawford said. Im just worried about what I can do and make sure my effort and focus is there and rely on my technique and reflexes after that.
The Blackhawks got going early, with Troy Brouwer scoring 7:08 into the first period. Bolland scored one minute, 40 seconds later, off a Pisani rebound. Pisani added his in the second period, deflecting a pretty Bolland pass for a 3-0 lead.
Our line did a good job of shutting those guys down and creating opportunities for ourselves, Pisani said. Boley made a hell of a pass. I was driving and it just went off my stick and into the net.
Jack Skille added the fourth goal in the third.
The Blackhawks could be onto something. The Blackhawks celebrate Troy Brouwer's first-period goal to make it 1-0. Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook were on the ice for the goal and all the others, finishing with a plus-4 rating. (AP)Theyre healthy, theyre comfortable in their lines and theyre playing complete games from the starting whistle. They wont have an easy go of it with back-to-back games against Nashville this weekend, but the Blackhawks are feeling more confident than they have in a while.
Lets hope this is the start of something thats more consistent than its been in the past, Quenneville said. I liked our overall team game tonight. Back to back solid games are something to build off.
Leddy, Hendry connect
Nick Leddy has adjusted just fine to his second NHL stint, and coach Joel Quenneville has liked his work with Jordan Hendry. The duo played nearly 15 minutes each on Wednesday.
That pair had another good night, Quenneville said. When you have all three pairs threatening to come off the rush or off the points in the offensive zone, it presents a lot more things to be concerned with defensively.
Leddy, who played three games early this season before heading to Rockford, said he learned a lot with the IceHogs.
I took a lot from the coaches and tried to focus on the defensive zone a lot. I tried to learn as much as I could, said Leddy, who played 16:34 in the Blackhawks victory over the Islanders on Sunday. Theres not a ton (different this time). I just feel more prepared.
The pair has logged numbers in the mid teens these past few games, taking some of the onus off the top two defensive groups. Hendry, meanwhile, said hes felt better in his return to defense.
Its been nice playing on the point there but its been a while, he said. To get a few games in a row has been good; defense is more natural for me.
The second period ended two minutes, seven seconds early on Wednesday night, as the arena crew had to replace a panel of broken glass behind the Blackhawks first- and third-period goal. The Blackhawks and Avalanche played the 2:07 after the second intermission, had a quick respite and then played the third.
Nick Boynton (flu) was a scratch; Ryan Johnson and John Scott were healthy scratches on Wednesday.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.