Blackhawks notes: Offense has arrived, Pirri settling in

Blackhawks notes: Offense has arrived, Pirri settling in
October 31, 2013, 3:30 pm
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The Blackhawks kept saying it through those games where getting just two goals seemed like a chore: the offense will come. In their last few days, it has.

After trudging through most of October eking out 3-2 and 2-1 games, the Blackhawks’ offense has exploded as of late. Be it Jonathan Toews’ hat trick or the multi-point games several players have collected, the Blackhawks’ offense is back.

“It’s nice to see,” said Patrick Sharp, who has three points in the last two games. “It seems like this season we’ve had some good 5 on 5 play and poor special teams, then vice-versa. It’s good to have it all come together and score a few goals. Giving up five and six goals was a concern. But if we play our solid team game, our chances will come.”

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Part of that could be the line combinations, which have shown more balance and more results. There seems to be a comfort level with everyone and their respective linemates. Also, it doesn’t hurt that individual and team confidence is growing in that scoring ability.

“We’re getting opportunities,” said Bryan Bickell, who had a four-goal streak recently. “The last couple games have been weird. We’ve been getting outshot. We’re giving up more opportunities but we’re also getting more. But if we’re winning by one goal or two goals and we’re still winning, and that’s all that matters.”

Pirri settling in

Brandon Pirri has fit in well on that second line, flanked by Brandon Saad and Patrick Kane. For Pirri, it’s all been a learning experience and he’s working to develop his all-around game.

“I want to be good in all three zones,” he said. “If I’m playing strong defensively, and if I find Kaner and Saader, then the offense will come.”

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The offensive potential of that line is clearly there, and it’s shown itself in points recently. Coach Joel Quenneville said the true measuring stick of that line, however, is how it plays in its own zone, not the opposition’s.

“They’re certainly threat off the rush; that line’s been dangerous,” Quenneville said. “They’re starting to get more familiar with where each other is in all zones. We just want them to keep improving in our own end. But (Pirri) will get better in each area. It’s a good start for him.”

As for Pirri potentially seeing a shootout opportunity in the future, Quenneville said, “yeah, he’s definitely on the radar, for sure. He has a heck of a shot.”