Maybe it was missing those first two regular-season games. Or maybe it's because that's just his game all the time.
Whatever the reason, Daniel Carcillo came out flying -- and hitting. And with Carcillo doing his part, linemates Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa were freed up to do theirs.
Kane scored a goal and two assists and Hossa had a goal and an assist in his 900th career game as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 at the United Center on Thursday night. Carcillo, who played in his first game with the Blackhawks after serving a suspension the first two, took his pent-up energy out on the Jets early. He was all over the ice, throwing his body at whoever he could.
For Carcillo, it's all part of the job. At least part of his job.
"That's my game: playing the body, getting fans into it early and getting the team into it early," said Carcillo, who also walked away from a potential scrap with Winnipeg defenseman Mark Stuart. "I usually wouldn't walk away from that. But after a minute, 20 (seconds) on the ice I'm not going to engage on the fight."
Coach Joel Quenneville liked the energy and offense that line generated.
"Danny's first shift in a Blackhawk uniform was very noticeable. He started that line in a positive way," he said. "I thought they had several high-quality shifts and the production to back it up. Everyone on that line had outstanding games."
The Blackhawks weren't looking too stellar early, though. Jim Slater scored two quick deflected goals on backup goaltender Ray Emery, putting the Blackhawks down 2-0 less than eight minutes into the game. But after one much-needed time out following Slater's second, the Blackhawks went on a four-goal run sparked by Andrew Brunette's power-play goal -- his second of this young season.
Dave Bolland also scored and goaltender Emery got his first victory as a Blackhawk.
But the night belonged to Kane, Hossa and Carcillo, who also garnered his first Blackhawks assist. The line was the right mix of venom and velocity; Carcillo opened the space Quenneville wanted him to and it led to success.
"Danny did a great job creating lots of room for us. Me and Patrick just tried to get open," Hossa said.
For a first-time run, the Carcillo-Kane-Hossa line was a success. Carcillo provided the jump. Kane and Hossa provided the rest.
"Its good, especially when you add a guy like Carcillo who likes to get pucks back to us and bang his body around and we can move it around the offensive zone," Kane said. "You see his antics before and after the whistle, which is a good thing when youre playing with him, but he draws a lot of attention and opens up some space for us."
Ray Emery got the victory in his regular-season Blackhawks debut, stopping 27 of 30 shots. Emery had faced all kinds of odd and deflected goals in preseason, and faced two more to start the game on Thursday. But Emery, who was out with the flu on Wednesday, got stronger as the game continued.
"He was rock solid in the third and it was a great test to see how he responded to some dangerous opportunities," Quenneville said.
Emery stopped all 11 shots he faced in the third period, his best thus far.
"I was actually getting a little tired (in the third) after that (flu) bug yesterday," Emery said with a laugh. "I just tried to stay in the middle of the net and make plays."