Blackhawks fans are sleeping better and better lately. After Sunday's bout against the St. Louis Blues, the team has won three straight without two of the league's biggest stars, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
The Blackhawks are seeing incredibly consistent contributions from their depth. Playoff lineup hopeful Jeremy Morin was the number one star Sunday with 1 goal and 1 assist.
The grit and skill Morin has been displaying make it very hard to picture him going back down to the AHL. Morin and Bickell's chemistry the past three games has been remarkable as well.
Ben Smith continues to be the workhorse he's been all season for the Blackhawks. His empty net goal against the Blues Sunday marked his 2nd goal with under 4 seconds left in regulation in back-to-back games.
Sunday's win also helped depict just how hungry the Blackhawks are for home ice during the first round of the playoffs. They managed to play an aggressive, puck possessing game without one of the best possession players in the game, Patrick Kane. Not to mention that Jonathan Toews, Johnny Oduya, and Brandon Saad were also out of the line up.
Brooks Orpik's brutal hit on Jonathan Toews several games ago seems to have been a blessing in disguise. After the team's lack of response to their captain being taken out of the game, the Blackhawks have been regularly dropping the gloves and throwing big hits themselves. Now there seems to be a response every time an opposing player even looks the wrong way at the Hawks.
Scott King is a contributing writer for The Wall Street Journal and RedEye Chicago. Follow "Blackhawks Crazy" on Facebook.
Subscribe to "Hawk Crazy" for exclusive Blackhawks game photos, news, and commentary by just entering your email below. No spam mail, opt out at any time.