Blackhawks put together a complete effort and down Toronto 3-1 - New York News

Blackhawks put together a complete effort and down Toronto 3-1

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

It was a Saturday night Original Six battle at the United Center and Chicago fans didn't leave disappointed. In their most complete effort of the young season the Blackhawks dispatched the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1.

The Leafs came to town with a 6-2 record but they hadn't recorded a win over a team the caliber of the Hawks. The score was flattering to the Leafs as they couldn't mount much of an attack. If not for the solid play of goal tender Jonathan Bernier the score would have been more lopsided. Bernier made some difficult stops and two in particular came on shots from Patrick Kane.

Joel Quenneville hasn't been happy and his criticism must have hit home last night as the Hawks were solid on both sides of the puck. They controlled the neutral zone, stayed patient and focused for the entire game.

Quenneville switched up the lines once again, this time splitting up Jonathan Toews and Kane. According to Quenneville he was looking for more balance and maybe he was also sending a message. Whatever the case his squad controlled the contest from start to finish.

Interestingly Kane was very noticeable throughout and Toews wasn't shabby either but they didn't stain the score sheet. The scorers were not the biggest names as Brandon Pirri, Bryan Bickell and former Leaf Michael Kostka all recorded goals. Pirri, Andrew Shaw, Brandon Saad and Marcus Kruger each had an assist as Nick Leddy recorded two helpers.

Saad showed some soft hands and good vision as he put a sweet pass on the tap of Pirri who tapped in his second goal. Bickell was taken off the top line last night and scored his first goal of the season. Bickell showed patience with the puck as he tucked one behind Bernier. Kostka has only played in two games thus far but looks to be a good addition as he is comfortable handling the puck.

Corey Crawford continues to string together solid performances as he had no chance on the Leafs only goal. Toronto benefited from a bad bounce and a turnover by Johnny Oduya to get on the board.

Fan favorite Dave Bolland returned to face his old mates and finished with two shots on goal for the night. If Bolland can stay healthy he will play a big part in Toronto's season. There aren't many players with the hockey IQ of Bolland.

The Blackhawks will rest up before traveling to play Florida on Tuesday and then will skate against Tampa Bay Thursday night. The Minnesota Wild will pay their first visit to the United Center on Saturday evening.

If the Hawks play as focused and structured as they were versus Toronto they have a good chance of fairing very well this week.

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

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