( Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images)

Now THAT was a convincing victory. Despite a shaky start to the game, the Blackhawks came to play last night and easily took care of the Flames. The Blackhawks got outstanding performances from Marian Hossa (shocking), Duncan Keith and Ray Emery. The result was a 4-1 victory and a spot all alone in 1st place in the Western Conference. Duncan Keith appeared in his 500th NHL game and opened the scoring in the first after a rebound that hoped over Daniel Carcillo’s stick found its way to Keith who buried it home. The goal may not have happened had Miikka Kiprusoff decided to get up and get back into position after going down to make the first save, but that’s his decision. The Hawks went up 2-0 after a Brent Seabrook drive found its way through Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews traffic out front of Kipper on the power play. The Hawks PP was 1/4 on the night (cause for celebration). The game got interesting for a few minutes halfway through the 3rd after Olli Jokinen ripped a wrist shot over the blocker of Emery. Curtis Glencross provided a fantastic screen in front of Razor, who had no chance to stop the shot. The Hawks put it away after Boss Hoss set up Viktor Stalberg with a pass you’d have to see to believe. It was nice to see Stalberg finish on that one after missing on a couple of chances earlier in the game. He probably could have had 3 or 4 goals had things gone his way. The Blackhawks finished things off after Kane potted an empty netter. Overall, a good effort by the Hawks on home-ice. Their record at the UC improved to 6-1-2 and they have a chance to make it 7-1-2 tomorrow against an Edmonton team who seems to be coming back to earth after a very impressive start to the season.

Couple of random thoughts:

♦ The infamous Kane spin-o-rama to Hossa will obviously go down as the most impressive set up of the Hawks season when all is said and done, but Hossa’s pass to Stalberg on his goal comes in a close second at this point. How the hell did he find a way to sneak it though all that traffic? The best part about it was Hossa’s “I’m above all of this” reaction as he cooly skated over to congratulate Stalberg. That was the easiest goal Stalberg will ever score. We aren’t hearing much grumbling this season about Hossa’s contract for good reason, he is probably having the best campaign of any Blackhawk so far.

♦ I’ve been pretty hard on Razor thus far. But credit where it’s due, Emery had a fantastic game last night and kept it scoreless in the early stages of the game when the Hawks looked a little flat. After a pretty awful game in Tampa, Razor goes and does something like this…….and TOTALLY REDEEMED HIMSELF!

♦ I told you you Olli Jokinen would find a way to piss us off. Also, Jokinen might be one of the ugliest people that has ever walked the earth. Disgusting.

♦  I will stop complaining about John Scott soon, I promise. However, it’s not out of my system yet. For a second straight night, Scott dressed and Sami Lepisto and Sean O’Donnell sat. This is indefensible. Scott played 9 minutes, but did absolutely nothing except get popped once in his own zone by some guy who was much smaller than he was (obviously). I guess Scott must have lost some muscle when he was learning to skate over the offseason. Is it too much to ask the beat reporters to ask Quenneville exactly what John Scott brings to the table that other Hawks defenseman don’t? Oh right, can’t argue with Joel! Note to the beat reporters: You can ask why Quenneville makes certain decisions without being argumentative. Anyway, Scott managed to stay out of the way enough last night to avoid harming the winning effort.

♦ In fairness, Steve Montador had a rough game defenseivly with a couple of bad turnovers – including one which led to a breakaway for Calgary. When Q is your coach, bad turnovers are the best way to find yourself in the doghouse. The defensive pairs will be interesting to see tomorrow night when the Oilers come into the UC. I wouldn’t mind seeing Lepisto and Montador as the Oilers are a young team with a ton of speed.

♦The Hawks are now in 1st place in the Western Conference and lead Nashville by 5 points in the division. However, a lot of teams have a game or two in hand on the Hawks. Nevertheless, the view from the top is nice. Can you see Vancouver and Detroit all the way down there from up here?

♦ I know they pounded Columbus the other night, but that game did nothing to prove the Hawks exercised their demons in my mind. Last night the Hawks faced a much better team with a much better goaltender and played fantastic hockey. The Hawks had success on the PP and even managed to successfully kill a penalty. All things considered, It was their best performance since the Nashville game on Halloween. It will be important for the Hawks to put in a full 60 minutes tomorrow night, having momentum and confidence heading into the Circus Trip is a must.

♦ Who else is pumped for Winnipeg and Columbus tonight?