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ANALYSIS: Blackhawks Come Out Firing With Toews Hat Trick

Where has this team been?

They bombarded their former teammate Nikolai Khabibulin with 47 shots on goal Wednesday night and Jonathan Toews scored a natural hat trick within a 6:48 stretch of the first and second periods. (A natural hat trick, if you don’t know, is three goals scored by one player without anyone else scoring during that three-goal run.)

Marty Turco recorded his first shutout as a Blackhawk and the 41st of his career. The Blackhawks defense made it easy on Turco, as he had to stop only 18 shots.

The Hawks have had a curious season. Their 10-9-2 season record includes a 5-2-2 mark on the road; they’re one of only 10 teams in the NHL with a winning road record. But their 5-7 home record is bad; last season during their Stanley Cup run, they lost only eight games all year at home during the regular season.

Nevertheless, this is a fine way to start off a six-game swing through some of the cities in the west of the NHL. The Hawks will play at Calgary on Friday; the Flames have lost three in a row.