Credit: Jim Young, Reuters

Credit: Jim Young, Reuters

Let’s start this out with a quick stat.

The Blackhawks’ 14-game point streak to begin a season is tied for the third longest in NHL history with the 1943-44 Montreal Canadiens, behind only the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks (16) and 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers (15).

As for the other three teams mentioned? They all went on to win the Stanley Cup.

While there’s plenty left in this shortened season, the ‘Hawks certainly appear to be a team that will be standing right there at the end – as evidenced by Friday’s 4-1 win against the overmatched Sharks. At no point did San Jose seem to be in that contest, with the Blackhawks being the much better club in every facet of the game.

Marcus Kruger was an absolute beast on each end of the ice, scoring a goal and adding an assist. His play on the fourth line is one of the major reasons Coach Q can comfortably roll four lines without blinking an eye. All of that line-juggling from the previous two seasons seems to be gone, though who knows how Q will react once this streak comes to an end.

As for Jonathan Toews’ fight with Joe Thornton, it simply showed he’d had enough of Thornton’s shit from the past couple years of cheap shots. They got into it shouting match in the first meeting in San Jose as well, and this was the culmination of everything.

Toews is probably one of the smartest players in the league. Rarely does he take a bad penalty. But it’s likely when he saw Thornton with his back turned, he knew exactly what he was doing when cross-checked him into the boards. Toews continued pushing Thornton to the ice, then continued after Thornton got up. Toews’ emotions got the better of him, and then got the visor instigator on top of it for a total of nine penalty minutes.

While I never want to see Toews fighting, it’s pretty likely we wont have to witness it in the near future. He’s gotten into three fights in a 427-game career including playoffs, and I remember where I was and what I was doing during each of them. He didn’t get hurt, so let’s just forget about it. One fight every other season for the captain is something I can live with.

The beating Toews usually puts on the Kings is much more noteworthy. He has four goals and three assists in his last five games against them, including a goal in the season-opening 5-2 win Jan. 19. The only game in that stretch in which he didn’t earn a point was a 2-0 loss Dec. 28, 2011 – Los Angeles’ only non-shootout victory over the Blackhawks in the last 13 meetings dating back to 2009.

After a day of skating with wounded veterans at Soldier Field, the ‘Hawks get set for another date with a Kings team that was the latest victim of the Stanley Cup hangover after dropping starting 3-5-2.

Los Angeles, though, comes in with a little streak having won its last two. Jeff Carter scored twice in a 4-1 win over St. Louis on Monday before they held the Blue Jackets to 13 shots in Friday’s 2-1 victory.

The most surprising part of those victories is that Jonathan Bernier started both over the struggling Jonathan Quick, who is just 3-4-2 with a 2.70 goals-against average.

As of Saturday night, coach Darryl Sutter wasn’t sure who of the two he was going to start.

Ray Emery gets the nod in net again for the ‘Hawks as Corey Crawford continues battling what is believed to be a concussion.