Most of Sunday night centered around seeing old friends, more on the ice than off because time didn’t allow for the latter.
It was also about keeping a good thing rolling, which the Blackhawks did in terms of their now 11-game point streak (9-0-2). The Blackhawks saw former teammate Andrew Shaw on the ice, weathered a great Montreal Canadiens team and are certainly in good shape heading into their annual Circus Trip.
So before we head home and make sure everything’s packed, here are the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 3-2 victory to the Canadiens.
1. A split second period. The Blackhawks got a little turnover happy to start the second, Shea Weber got a power-play goal when his shot caromed off Michal Kempny’s stick and Corey Crawford didn’t seem to see the second goal that got past him. But they recovered nicely in the second half, with Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane scoring goals. They returned to the great puck possession they had in the first period, too.
2. The rotating left-wing spot on the top line. Different year, same situation. Ryan Hartman started with Jonathan Toews and Kane but early in the second period Vinnie Hinostroza was up there. Kane spoke highly of Hinostroza, as did coach Joel Quenneville. Both said he added some energy and spark to that line. So is it his turn now, and how long does that last? Getting a consistent trio may help a bit.
3. A better night for Al Montoya. The last time the Chicago native was in net for the Canadiens, it was a rough one – a 10-0 loss to Columbus. On Sunday night, Montoya’s third-period work, in particular, kept the Canadiens in this one. The Canadiens were likely feeling the effects of their back-to-back – they beat Detroit on Saturday night. Montoya more than gave them a chance in the third.
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
4. Hossa’s scoring continues. Another game, another goal for Hossa, who got his fourth in as many games in the second period on Sunday night. Hossa now has nine goals in 15 games this season; he had 13 in 64 games in 2015-16. Listen, we get that Hossa isn’t a young guy in this league anymore. But any thoughts that he was done were certainly premature.
5. Hello again, Andrew Shaw. Toews talked prior to the game of former Blackhawks who, “seem to have their way with us” when they come back to the United Center. We’re sure Shaw got into the Blackhawks’ faces with his on-ice chirping. Despite his best efforts, however – six shots on goal – he didn’t get on the scoresheet.