Sixteen seconds into the game I was this close to joining the throngs of Blackhawks fans across the internet from calling this team 2012 Blackhawks 2.0. If you recall, the Hawks got off to a hot start before hitting a wall in January, and hitting the wall hard. The Hawks went on a nine game losing streak right around this time in 2012. It got ugly, very quickly. The rest of the season looked gloom, but the Hawks ended up playing quite well. Unfortunately, they ran into a hot Phoenix team that simply outplayed them in every aspect of the game.
6:30 into the second period against the Canucks last night, the Hawks got a beautiful goal from Marian Hossa that got the ball rolling. Scoring another four unanswered goals, the Hawks looked like the high flying team they were earlier in the season, simply dominating in every aspect of the game and controlling the puck extremely well. Several Hawks that had been struggling of late had breakout games. Jonathan Toews in particular was flying around the ice and was dominant along the boards. Whether or not he is battling an injury or simply off his game, last night showed us how special Toews can be when he is on top of his game.
One other player whose importance to this team continues to skyrocket is Brandon Saad. With three points last night, Saad has been one of the few players this season that has brought his “A” game. He sits sixth on the team with 39 points and it’s not out of the question that he may finish with 60 total. Saad’s biggest strength is his ability to play on any line and still bring the same type of game. The kid is a special player and if he continues his evolution, he will be every much a part of the core as Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are.
Up next the Hawks take on the San Jose Sharks Saturday night. Stay up late for this one as the puck doesn’t drop until 9:30 PM.