As the puck dropped to start the infamous annual Circus trip, the Chicago Blackhawks and Jonathan Toews decided to showcase a few tricks of their own.
As the first period began to wind down, many were waiting for a shot to finally dent the twine. Nearing the five-minute mark, Toews would pound home his first of three goals en route to his first hat trick since the 2008-09 season.
The Blackhawks established not only physical presence early, but they also made it a consistent task to get to the crease. In the first period they would amass 20 shots, two of which finding the back of the net in result of creating traffic in the crease.
It was apparent from the start of the second that the young captain (Toews) was not going to let anything nor anyone stand in his way to securing two points for his team.
Minutes into the second frame, Patrick Kane would find Toews charging down the slot. The shot would cement the center's third career hat trick and take all of the wind out of a young Edmonton Oilers team.
While Edmonton did put minimal pressure on Marty Turco at times, it was a stop midway through the second that would put the stamp on the game. As Dustin Penner skated up the wing, Ales Hemskey found him alone. Turco, fortunately, was able to quickly position himself for the save and reiterated to all fans the the Blackhawks were not falling to the Oilers once again.
Other goals scored were from Bryan Bickell and a short-hander added by Patrick Sharp for a team-leading 11th goal of the season. Sharp had been held scoreless in the previous eigth games before finding a pass from Jake Dowell and open ice to the net. After a deke to the left the brake were applied and the puck was quickly slipped around the out-stretched pad of Nikolai Khabibulin.
For a team looking for consistency, it was the second straight night of accumulating 40 or more shots. It was also another night for hard work paying off. It remains to be seen what this team can ultimately do on a regular basis.
The Blackhawks now travel to Calgary for a game Friday night against the Flames. Currently, the Flames are in the midst of a three-game losing streak and remain just above the Oilers in the cellar of the Western Conference.
Chicago 14:24, Jonathan Toews 6 (Brent Seabrook, Patrick Kane)
Chicago 19:14, Jonathan Toews 7 (power play) (Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp)
Chicago 1:12, Jonathan Toews 8 (Patrick Kane)
Chicago 18:57, Patrick Sharp 11 (shorthanded) (Jake Dowell)
Chicago 1:58, Bryan Bickell 4 (Jack Skille)
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