Some nights aren't about reclaiming swagger or your place in the league. They're about being professional and doing the job you're supposed to do.
Thursday night against the comedy act of Columbus, the Hawks easily won 6-3, as they were supposed to.
The Hawks skated rings around a team they're simply light years ahead of, and they can get on with the real business now. Only an easy win would do, and that's what they got.
The rout started when Columbus tender Steve Mason let in a bad goal from Jonathon Toews that zapped their confidence. Though it only made the game 2-1, when Toews's bad-angle shot avoided all the glue traps that Mason misplaces and wriggled its way into the net, the game was over.
You could hear the air go out of the building and the Jackets, and from there it was only a matter of applying enough pressure to the Jackets and Mason before the walls crumbled. But good teams aren't sympathetic, they're ruthless. The Hawks demonstrated that.
Andrew Brunette has come in for unfair criticism from Hawks fans because it's so easy notice that he's slower than everyone else. The easy conclusion to draw from that is he's bad, which he isn't at all. His goal showed everything he can do. First came the pass from out behind the net under pressure to Marcus Kruger. It was only about three feet but it's the kind of tricky little play in that area he specializes in. When corralling the rebound, he demonstrated the touch and hands he has when time is at the least, next to the net.
A lot of players may have slammed that shot against the pad of Mason, but from no more than two feet Brunette was able to calmly elevate it. All the Hawks have to do to get the most out of Brunette is give him these chances and plays.
The worst thing that could happen to that post modern sculpture that is the second power play unit with three defensemen is that it scored twice. They may think it's a real solution now, which it isn't.
The most encouraging thing is how calm Keith-Seabrook and Leddy-Hjalmarsson were in their own end. It may have been no more than a glorified scrimmage, but things have to grow from somewhere.
Oh right, Hossa and Toews can play together just as easily as Kane and Hossa. Who knew?
Marcus Kruger is getting better every game.