WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Brandon Bollig is not Patrick Kane. Marcus Kruger is not Jonathan Toews. But when the Chicago Blackhawks star players take a night off production-wise, it is a positive to see depth players leading their team to a victory.
"I thought that line had a good game," said coach Joel Quenneville, who referred to the Bollig goal in the second period of a 5-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets as the turning point. "I thought that the energy off that faceoff in your own end and you have a two-on-one and you score, that is a big bonus for you and I think we took off from there.
"We had the puck a lot in the last couple of periods in the offensive zone to get the D apart of the attack there. We had some guys who can see and make plays and our offense is sprinkled in all the lines. We feel our secondary groups can make plays as well. Equally as well."
Bollig scored a goal and added an assist, and Kruger had two assists of his own. Both were solid plus-three in the game and both answered the bell when their team needed it.
Toews, whose five-game points streak ended Saturday, praised his unsung teammates afterward.
"Some of those guys deserve it, they have been playing well," Toews said. "We are a strong team when we roll four lines and when everyone is contributing. That means defensive play but obviously contributing offensively as well and you saw that today.
"That is what makes us a dangerous team when we have so many guys who can go on and score in any which way."
Toews was also happy with his team's resilience and ability to overcome its shaky start.
"It is always tough to get into those 2 o'clock games or those noon games right away," Toews said. "We might have made some a few mistakes and given them a few too many scoring chances early, but I think slowly we got with it and kind of kept them away from our net."
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks had just 21 seconds of time on the penalty-kill against the Jets and Quenneville was happy with discipline of his team.
"That is always the key," Quenneville said. "I think it is one thing we talk about a lot; stay out of the box."