Lets face it, after escaping with a 5-4 win over Toronto last Wednesday, and captain Jonathan Toews return nowhere in sight, this three-game road trip looked ominous for a team fighting for playoff survival. But consecutive 2-1 wins in enemy territory over playoff-bound teams have turned the clock back on the back end of the recent four-game win streak that was so rudely interrupted by last weekends trip to California.
The Hawks killed off all four of their penalties two of which came as a result of coming to their teammates defense - and they added a power play goal on the first of their three opportunities. Theyve now connected on the man-advantage in three of their last four games after going 0-for-39 prior to that.
Added to the kills was another offsetting five-minute major when Andrew Shaw probably took his lumps against a bigger opponent in Brendan Smith, but it dropped the Wings down to four defensemen for five minutes after Jakub Kindl was lost earlier in the game, and Patrick Kanes game-winner came while the fighting major was served.
The Hawks were also getting annihilated in the faceoff circle through two periods: 10 wins, 24 losses. But in the 3rd they won 13 of 19, and had enough puck possession where they didnt have to completely play a soft zone.
While Patrick Sharp had a goal and an assist, some unsung heroes include: Brent Seabrook with four hits and three blocked shots in 28 minutes of ice time. Bryan Bickell had four more hits, giving him nine in these two games. Jamal Mayers and Johnny Oduya also got in front of three Wings shots. And oh yeah, Ray Emery. Just six of the last 132 shots hes faced have gotten past him.
Lets see if the Hawks can keep duplicating and pull off a three-game sweep Tuesday night in St. Louis.