Blackhawks top prospect Jeremy Morin scored his first NHL goal as the Hawks defeated Adam Burish and the Dallas Stars 5-3 on Wednesday night.
Scoring came from all over the Blackhawks roster. Jonathan Toews and Bryan Bickell had a goal and an assist each, while Dave Bolland and Duncan Keith had two assists each. Troy Brouwer and Patrick Sharp also scored goals for the Blackhawks.
After getting off to a miserably slow start, Bolland has started to spark the offense; he has four points in his last two games. Bolland also took the most faceoffs for the Hawks on Wednesday night, winning 10 of his 20 draws. Toews continues to be a master at the dot, winning 14 of his 18 opportunities.
One development that was intriguing from the Hawks win on Wednesday night was another turn in the doghouse for Viktor Stalberg. What was interesting wasn’t that Stalberg (and John Scott) failed to step on the ice in the third period, but that Jake Dowell skated most of the third at wing with Toews and Jack Skille.
When Quenneville commented about why the team recalled Rob Klinkhammer over other prospects in the organization, he noted that the team was looking for better defense from their forwards and used the word “responsible” when describing the effort they’ve seen from Klinkhammer this year in Rockford. If a line including both Dowell and Toews indicates anything, it’s that Quenneville wants strong play at both ends of the ice.
With Marian Hossa out at least through the weekend and Patrick Kane looking at the rest of December off, the Blackhawks are going to need their stars to play big and their secondary players to pick up the slack.
The stars have showed up. Toews, Sharp and Keith have stepped up their games lately, and have started to carry the team.
In 10 games since the start of the circus trip, the Hawks have won seven. During that stretch, Toews has 12 points (eight goals, four assists) and Sharp has 11 (seven goals, four assists). In the last five games, Keith has five assists.
The secondary players have picked up the pieces as well.
Brouwer and Bickell have six points in the last 10 games, and Morin continues to impress with each shift. Morin played a career-high 14:21 on Wednesday night and is now plus-three in six games.
If the Blackhawks can continue to receive balanced production from the top to the bottom of the roster, when players like Hossa, Kane and Fernando Pisani are added back into the mix it will be a legitimate problem for coach Joel Quenneville to appropriate ice time.