Blackhawks take care of business and win in Colorado 5-2 - FOX 32 News Chicago

Blackhawks take care of business and win in Colorado 5-2

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Chicago Blackhawks took care of business with a 5-2 victory in Colorado and got some payback toward the team which stopped their record point streak at 24 games. Jonathan Toews played like a man possessed and it was apparent his strong willed effort would spill over to his entire team.

The Hawks weren't perfect but Colorado wasn't up to the challenge. The Av's scored goals in the final two minutes of periods one and two but couldn't carry the momentum. They had chances to make the game close but squandered opportunities by missing the net. Ray Emery was strong when needed and kept his record perfect on the season.

Rookie Jimmy Hayes who had been average, but never seemed comfortable in his first two games in Chicago this season connected on a nice goal. Hayes scored from where the Hawks would like to see many goals from him come, close in, directly in front of the net.

Patrick Kane has a way of getting the puck to players in perfect position to score. Besides scoring a goal on a tight angle shot, Kane also recorded two nice assists on the Hayes and Brent Seabrook goals.

Seabrook was given some bench time after Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog went past him in the final minute of the opening period and scored a shothanded goal. It appeared Landeskog caught Seabrook at the end of along shift and flew by. Landeskog caught Seabrook flat footed and was by him so quickly Seabrook wasn't able to hook or cut him off.

Judging from postgame comments, which Joel Quenneville was reluctant to make, Seabrook was given some shifts off to begin the middle frame. Quenneville understands how fast and good Landeskog is but it appears he didn't appreciate Seabrook's effort on the play. It only takes a second or two of being too casual and a defenseman can get burned.

What was odd is Seabrook wasn't on the bench for the beginning of the second period so my original thinking was he was hurt. Seabrook rejoined his teammates quickly but then sat for awhile. He returned to the ice about two minutes before he scored his fifth goal of the season at 14:40 of period two. Quenneville apparently made his point and when a veteran player is benched everyone takes notice.

Marian Hossa missed the final two periods but it had nothing to do with sloppy play. Hossa was rubbed out along the boards by Ryan O'Byrne in a similar fashion as Patrick Sharp was when he suffered a shoulder separation. O'Byrne also later cross checked rookie Brandon Saad in the mouth. The Hawks won't see O'Byrne during the regular season again but he has made an impression.

In postgame comments, Quenneville said Hossa's injury didn't appear serious but they would know more Tuesday. The fear when a player disappears from the ice, especially Hossa or Toews, is that they have sustained another concussion. The same thought crossed my mind when Seabrook wasn't on the bench. Apparently in Hossa's case it doesn't look like a head injury. Quenneville remarked Hossa may be able to play in Anaheim.

That brings us to Wednesday's encounter with the Ducks who are the only team the Blackhawks can see in the rear view mirror. Anaheim has had a very good season and leads the Pacific Division by a 12 point margin. The Ducks have played one fewer game than the Hawks and trail Chicago by five points overall.

With a win versus Anaheim the Blackhawks will be able to finish off their four game road trip without a loss. They will also be able to send a message around the NHL that there is no doubt who is the best team in the Western Conference.

Al's Shots

During the game Monday night, big news broke out of Anaheim.

The Ducks recently signed Ryan Getzlaf to a contract extension through 2021 which will come to a $8.25 million salary cap hit per season. I thought it was highly unlikely ownership would spend the same or more on Corey Perry. As of Monday, I had heard Perry turned down a similar offer.

Well evidently Perry wanted a little more than Getzlaf and he got it.

It has been reported Perry signed a contract good through 2021 which will be a $8.625 million cap hit per season. That is a ton of money to invest in two players but now the Ducks have a very strong trio of forwards in place. Power forward Bobby Ryan is also signed through the 2014-2015 season.

I'm bringing this up because the Blackhawks have two elite young forwards with contracts set to expire after the 2014-2015 campaign. If Rocky Wirtz had any doubt as to what it will cost to resign Kane and Toews, he now has a clearer picture.

The salary cap should be higher than it is for next year, and could likely be higher than it is now but the Hawks will still have to do some juggling. Kane and Toews are two of the reasons why when compliance buyouts are mentioned, Hossa's name is brought up.

If Hosssa was bought out after the 2014-2015 campaign, I believe it would cost Wirtz about $1.1 million each season for about 15 years. My math may be off a little but you get the idea.

By doing so the Hawks don't have any salary cap hit to absorb on Hossa's contract but Rocky will be paying him at a reduced rate for a very long time. It would be sad to see Hossa go, especially if he is playing as well as he is today but the Blackhawks may have no other choice.

In years going forward, Kane and Toews will be the best players on the team. They are almost there now and haven't reached their prime. Certainly Chicago management will do whatever takes to keep the duo here throughout their careers.

I did promise some trade thoughts Tuesday but there will be an article coming on Friday instead. It will also include thoughts on next season's realignment.

The audio clip is of a SiriusXM interview on Monday with Boomer Gordon. We had a nice Hawks chat which went on for about 18 minutes, hopefully you will find it interesting.

I will be back on Thursday morning and you can follow me on Twitter @AlCimaglia

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