Hawks greatest show on ice even with circus in town?

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:53 AM ET

EDMONTON -- The Chicago Blackhawks call it the circus trip because the greatest show on Earth takes over the United Center in Chicago.

It's a six-game western swing, which started with an im-pressive 7-1 victory Thursday over the Calgary Flames.

Last night, it swung through Edmonton where the Hawks have had pretty impressive results in the past.

"We were happy with our game in Calgary across the board," said Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville. "Every night can be different and will be different. But it was one of those nights, where we got our powerplay going, got some production there and it really helped our offence out."

The Blackhawks scored four powerplay goals in the win over the Flames, which turned a tight contest into a blowout.

They went into their game against the Oilers last night with the 11th ranked powerplay unit in the league.

"We've been trying to get our powerplay going because our offence (5-on-5) has just been OK," Quenneville said. "We feel that's an area where we can get more production, and if our powerplay can be successful, then it will help us."

The Blackhawks went into last night's contest leading their division and third in the conference standings. And that's without their big free-agent acquisition Marian Hossa having stepped on the ice yet.

The winger, who signed a 12-year, US$62.8-million contract this summer, is recovering from a shoulder injury but should make his debut sometime during this road trip.

"He's not playing (last night)," Quenneville said. "We're probably looking at California, maybe in San Jose, in and around that time."

Last season, the Hawks won both encounters against the Oilers in Edmonton, which included a 9-2 hammering in December. Earlier this season, they beat the Oilers 4-3 in a contest where they out-shot the visitors 38-19.

"They're a hungry team that's young and skilled just like us," said Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews prior to the contest.

DEREK.VANDIEST@SUNMEDIA.CA


Videos

Photos