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Some thoughts on the Blackhawks' opening loss

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The Hawks are now 0-2-2 in their season openers dating back to 2007. Heading into Thursday's loss against the Colorado Avalanche, the Hawks were tied for the longest active winless streak in the NHL.

We all know what happened last year and the year before. So there is no reason to panic at all.

"It's the first game of the year," Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "We're going to make some mistakes; we'll learn from them. But we're not going to overreact and go crazy.''

Three stats standout to me in the Hawks' 4-3 overtime defeat:

41-38: The Avalanche outshot the Hawks. The Hawks led the league last year in shot differential, sending an average of 34 at opponents while allowing only 25.

2-of-7: The power play conversions. Two goals are good, but you still expect to see more from the Hawks when they send out players like Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane.

Minus-3: Niklas Hjalmarsson's rating. He was playing with rookie Nick Leddy, but big things are expected from him this season. Hjalmarsson has said so himself, especially after getting a new contract in the summer.

The new guys ....

Fernando Pisani started on the second line with Kane and Sharp and finished ... with a minus-2 rating in 11:38. Hawks coach Joel Quenneville was quick to make changes as Kane and Sharp took shifts with other players as the game progressed.

I know they're on the fourth line, but you want to see more of Viktor Stalberg and Jack Skille, who played only 6:10 and 7:15, respectively. Aren't they supposed to help make up for the Hawks' salary-cap losses?

Looking ahead at the lines ...

I think the first line of Toews, Hossa and Tomas Kopecky (two assists vs. the Avs) sticks together, while either Bryan Bickell or Troy Brouwer moves up from the third and plays with Kane and Sharp.

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Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan hailing from the Far Northwest Side. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times for more than four years, covering the Hawks, Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools.

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This page contains a single entry by Adam L. Jahns published on October 8, 2010 4:40 PM.

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