Nov 2, 2013; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks forwardPatrick Sharp
(10) celebrates his goal during the second period with teammateMarian Hossa
(81) against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Last month the Blackhawks were searching for a consistent offense. The top line from last seasons Stanley Cup Finals had yet to gain traction. The line of Bryan Bickell, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews was split up. Coach Quenneville starting playing jigsaw with his lines. We didn’t know from shift to shift who was going to play with who. Finally Coach Quenneville decided to put Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, and Marian Hossa on the same line.
The line play of Toews, Sharp, and Hossa is making Coach Quennville look like a genius. The line became an instant hit. Toews, Sharp, and Hossa have produced nine goals and nine assists in the last five games. The top line surge has coincided with the Blackhawks 4-0-1 record and a 22 goal outburst. This past five game stretch has pushed the Blackhawks record too 10-2-4 on the season.
After Thursday night’s game, Coach Quenneville said, “I thought they had their best game tonight”. He was right, Toews and Sharp had a goal each. Toews performance in Thursday game earned him the 1st star. Sharp’s performance earned him the second star of the Thursday night game.
The member of this line, Marian Hossa was a question mark coming into this season. Hossa who suffered a back injury last season during the Stanley Cup run started this year off slow. Although Hossa did not show up on the score sheet Thursday night, he has been a pleasant suprise this season. He has recorded five points in his last six games. That should be very encouraging for Blackhawks fans because their were concerns about his status.
The Scary thing about the Blackhawks right now is that Patrick Kane is playing well not on the top line. That means the biggest guns for the Blackhawks Toews and Kane are not on the same line. All in all, the Blackhawks seemed to have solved their scoring woes. Once again a Coach Quenneville move has turned a perceived weakness into a strength.