Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Posted 10:34 p.m. Updated 11:51 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
The mantra had been there throughout the season: the Chicago Blackhawks needed a winning streak, a lengthy, point-producing, surge-up-the-standings streak.
They couldnt get it for a long time, but theyre getting it now.
Jonathan Toews scored twice and Michael Frolik had a goal and two assists, his first points in a Blackhawks uniform, as the Blackhawks beat the Calgary Flames 6-4 at the United Center on Wednesday night.
WATCH: Toews beaming with confidence
That Blackhawks, who were struggling and in 11th place not so long ago, have now won six straight and jumped to fourth in the Western Conference.
Weve been saying all year that we needed to put something like this together to put ourselves in the spot we want to be out. Just about every team in the conference around us has had that kind of roll, coach Joel Quenneville said. What we just did were happy about, but its what were going to do moving forward thats going to determine what we have to do.
Toews, who was the NHLs No. 1 star for February, is now on a seven-game points streak. Brian Campbell and Marian Hossa had a goal and an assist and Dave Bolland also scored for the Blackhawks. Corey Crawford got the victory in net.
Once again, the Blackhawks strong start came from their stellar top line. Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Toews worked a pretty tic-tac-toe passing effort, with Toews finishing for a 1-0 lead. Frolik added his goal, his first in 32 games, at the end of the period.
Yeah, I finally got the monkey off my back, said Frolik. We won and I helped the team do that. And I like that.
If there was any negative it was the Blackhawks third period. For the second consecutive game a comfortable three-goal lead turned into a shaky one-goal one for a while. The Blackhawks were up 4-1 heading into the third when the Flames responded, getting to within one twice before Hossa sealed it with an empty-net goal with 39 seconds remaining.
Well take wins how we can get them, said Sharp. Its frustrating the way the game ended but were going to have to win those tight games down the stretch. We can look at it in a negative way that in the third periods weve given up a few goals, but I like to look at it that we hang on to the lead and get the points.
The Blackhawks are rolling now. Theyve gone from the outside of the standings to right in the middle of them. Theyve done it by not getting too far ahead of themselves, just focusing on the next game on the docket.
Rinse and repeat.
Michael Frolik and Marian Hossa celebrate Hossa's empty-net goal. Frolik recorded his first points as a Blackhawk with a goal and two assists. The goal was his first since Dec. 17 when he was with the Florida Panthers (US PRESSWIRE)
The standings are so tight right now, these two points make a huge difference, Toews said. Every win that we have lately weve been able to put it behind us and focus on the next game. Thats what were going to do this week and focus on Friday now.
Defenseman Chris Campoli played nearly 17 minutes in his Blackhawks debut, finishing with two shots on goal and three hits. Campoli, who was paired with Brian Campbell, also played some on the power play and penalty kill.
I liked him, Quenneville said. He was very active off the back end, made a lot of direct plays and was patient. I think that pair could have the puck a lot, be it off the point in the offensive zone or forechecking pressure in our own end. Hell get more comfortable in our system but it was a good first game.
Ring for HOF
Hockey Hall of Fame chairman Bill Hay and Blackhawks president John McDonough will add a 2010 Stanley Cup ring to the special Cup display at the Hockey Hall of Fame later this month. The ring, donated by the Blackhawks, will be displayed next to the first Stanley Cup ring (1893).
Ryan Johnson won 11 of 12 faceoffs for the Blackhawks on Wednesday night.
Fernando Pisani and John Scott were scratches against the Flames.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.