Are Blackhawks finally ready to roll this time?

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Patrick Kane celebrates after scoring his goal during a shootout Friday against the Ottawa Senators. With Kane and Marian Hossa back, the Hawks have a full and healthy lineup again.

    Patrick Kane celebrates after scoring his goal during a shootout Friday against the Ottawa Senators. With Kane and Marian Hossa back, the Hawks have a full and healthy lineup again. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 1/10/2011 2:16 PM

We've been down this road before with the Blackhawks this season.

Just when it appeared the Hawks were on the verge of putting together a significant winning streak to possibly separate themselves from the pack in the Western Conference, they would stumble and take a step backwards.

 

It happened a few weeks ago when a four-game winning streak was followed by three straight losses.

Now the Hawks are talking about getting on a roll again after weekend wins over Ottawa and the New York Islanders. And they believe this time might be different thanks to a healthy lineup.

"We had that feeling a couple weeks ago out West and hit a skid there in between," Patrick Sharp said. "We have everybody healthy now, so that's a good sign."

The Hawks are as healthy as they've been all season with Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane showing signs they are getting back their scoring touch.

Kane has goals in two straight games while Hossa had a goal and 3 assists in the wins over Ottawa and the Islanders.

"You look at Kaner and it was nice him getting that goal (Friday)," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "You can sense his confidence returning and his patience with the puck.

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"We've got everybody playing, and I think that's a good place to start."

The Hawks host Colorado on Wednesday then play a home-and-home set with Nashville on the weekend. After that it's their first five-day break of the season before playing again on Jan. 22 at Detroit.

"We've got a schedule here where we've got to take advantage of our home ice," Quenneville said. "We've got some dates where we've got some time between games and we've got to make sure to emphasize we've got to max out every game and leave it out there because we're against it right now."

A full and healthy lineup brings some stability to the lines, which was evident over the weekend.

Quenneville had Jonathan Toews, Kane and Troy Brouwer back together with a second line of Sharp between Hossa and Tomas Kopecky. The third line of Dave Bolland, Fernando Pisani and Bryan Bickell has played well.

"Lines are clicking and everybody's coming together now," Bolland said. "We've had some time together now, and all four lines are rolling and doing a good job.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Everybody's healthy, nobody's out with anything, so this is the time we have to roll. We know all these games coming up are important against teams in our (conference). The chemistry is coming. It takes time."

The Hawks woke up Monday morning in sixth place in the Western Conference -- but just 1 point out of fourth and 3 points out of 12th place.

Welcome to the whacky West.

"One way or another we never can be satisfied with our position, whether we were in first place in our division or where we are right now," Toews said. "Considering how tight the West is you always have to play well and be consistent.

"Things haven't gone our way, but it's not the end of the world. We have some time to make up for it and we just have to be confident that we're going to. We have to stay positive and work hard to get back to where we deserve to be."