Monday, Jan. 17, 2011
By Tracey Myers
Theres something to be said for a good, honest chat. Airing grievances, getting things off your chest, venting; whatever you call it, it can lead to good things.
Just ask the Blackhawks, who got the most out of a little player pow-wow they had after a lousy first period against Nashville on Sunday night. They talked, they hashed things out, heck they couldve screamed at each other for all we know.
Bottom line is, whatever was said worked. The Blackhawks came through with a good second period and a better third period, one that came with four goals and a victory over a division opponent. And heading into this five-day break, they needed that.
Yeah, its something for guys to be loud and to speak their mind in this room, Dave Bolland said. Having guys speak and know whats wrong and whats bothering them is good.
Some players talked. Troy Brouwer said that, but wouldnt specify who exactly the talkers were. Those who werent talking were apparently listening; the words ruffle feathers as much as they stoked team morale.
We just got excited about going out there and getting something done, said Jonathan Toews, who not surprisingly was one of the vocal players. We all knew we had to be better after that first period.
Maybe the Blackhawks have had these players-only discussions in others games this season. Im sure they had their talkers during last seasons Stanley Cup run. Maybe its the same guys. Maybe some of the veterans acquired in the offseason piped up. Maybe guys who were hesitant to talk last season have no problem doing it now.
Whatever the scenario, it worked on Sunday. After a myriad of offseason changes and in-season injuries, the Blackhawks are starting to find their team identity and line chemistry. Theyve also found their voices. Theyll need hard work and health to keep them in the Western Conferences top eight.
Theyll also have to keep talking. When youre trying to get the most out of each other and go on another playoff run, silence wont be golden.
--Nick Leddy was reassigned to the Rockford IceHogs on Monday morning, but with the Blackhawks not playing again until Saturday, it looks like this was just a salary-cap move. The 19-year-old defenseman has earned nothing but praise from coach Joel Quenneville since being recalled on Jan. 7.
--The checking line guys keep adding offense while denying the opposition. Bolland is on a four-game points streak after adding two goals on Sunday night. He now has four goals and two assists in these past four contests. Bryan Bickell added his 12th goal of the season on Sunday night.
--The NHL All-Star game captains are going to be named soon. Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said earlier this week that he would select Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos as the respective team captains. But am I the only one wondering if Crosby even plays in this game? Hes been sidelined with concussion since Jan. 6. The All-Star game is less than two weeks away. Even if Crosby is concussion symptom-free and playing again, does he play in Raleigh? Just wondering .
--Brouwer, who had the tying and game-winning goals against Nashville, was the NHLs third star for Sunday night.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.