AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

There are few teams better than the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Minnesota Wild to use as slumpbusters in the NHL right now.  That is precisely what the Blackhawks have done in their last two games.  They could have stuck their tails between their legs after Patrick Sharp went down with his injury.  Instead, they responded with swagger.

Viktor Stalberg has taken Sharp’s spot, playing with Toews and Kane.  He’s taken full advantage of that opportunity with four goals in two games.

Andrew Shaw and Jimmy Hayes are showing that they are here to stay.  Sign them up.  I have to give Shaw some credit.  I was a major doubter when he got called up, not of his potential but whether he was ready for the NHL.  He’s shut me up really fast.  These two kids have been the spark the Hawks needed on the third and fourth lines.  Shaw scored his second NHL goal in tonight’s game and continues to impress me every game with smart and energetic shifts.  Both Shaw and Hayes scored goals against the Wild, showing that they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Michael Frolik showed up tonight.  Frolik’s pass helped set up the first goal of the game, a power play goal from Andrew Shaw. He made a couple of great opportunities happen, which is exactly what he needs to be doing to get himself going in the scoring department.

Speaking of power play, praise for the power play tonight?  Absolutely.  The Hawks have been suffering badly on the power play as of late.  Tonight, the Hawks scored twice with the extra man.  They will need to keep this type of production going in the second half of the season.  Teams need to be able to take advantage of having the extra man come playoff time.

Dave Bolland showed up tonight on the power play.  He made a beautiful pass to Jimmy Hayes from behind the net to secure the Hawks’ second power play goal of the night.  David “the Rat” Bolland also scored two goals of his own.

Sean O’Donnell will also be getting some love from me tonight.  He made a great pass to set up Shaw’s goal and played some great defense.

It wouldn’t be a Blackhawks recap without some love for Jonathan Toews.  Aside from his scoring potential and playmaking abilities, Hawks fans need to give him a lot of credit for his face-off skills.  Toews leads the league in face-off percentage, a trend that continued tonight.  Toews won 60% of his face-offs against the Wild this evening.

The only criticism I have tonight is with the rebounds our goaltending has been giving up lately.  Both Minnesota goals this evening were due to fat rebounds off of Ray Emery.  Emery has been really solid in between the pipes this year for the Hawks, but the rebounds will need to be addressed going into another tough stretch of games.

Minnesota was slumping hard, going into this game losing 11 of their last 13.  That being said, the Hawks played smart hockey tonight.  They did not play down to their opponent as they often have this year.  Their schedule will not be quite so easy this weekend.  The Hawks will need to carry the momentum from these last two games into Detroit on Saturday and back at the Madhouse on Sunday against the Sharks.  All good things tonight.