CHICAGO – Joel Quenneville surveyed the media throng gathered around him after the Blackhawks' morning skate and marveled at the attention his team is receiving.
"It's maybe multiplied by two," the coach said of the number of reporters and cameras surrounding him before the Hawks' 5-3 victory over the Wild on Tuesday night at the United Center.
"It has been a fun start to our season. The guys are approaching each and every game as a new challenge. Our opponents every game have been excited about playing us as well.
"Our four or five last games have been great games. We've been fortunate in some of them, but I still like the way we've been playing."
Quenneville likely remained more than pleased with the Hawks' effort as they ran the longest streak to start a season without a regulation loss in NHL history to 23 games and also set a franchise record with their 10th victory in a row.
They also extended their string of games with at least one point dating to last season to 29 – second-most in league history. At 20-0-3, the Hawks have piled up 43 of a possible 46 points this season.
Before the game, the organization honored Hossa for playing in his 1000th career NHL game Sunday against the Red Wings in Detroit with a pregame ceremony. The crowd chanted "Hossa, Hossa, Hossa" and perhaps sparked by that warm moment, the Hawks' offense put on quite a show.
Bryan Bickell had two goals while Brandon Saad, Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane also scored. Jonathan Toews and Saad each had two assists, as the Hawks raced to a big lead and goaltender Corey Crawford held it to improve to 10-0-3 on the season.
Devin Setoguchi scored to put the Wild in front early on, but it was nearly all Hawks after that as they chased starting goalie Niklas Backstrom in favor of Darcy Kuemper to start the second period.
After the Wild took the early lead, the Hawks roared back with four goals within a span of 5 minutes, 43 seconds.
First, Saad flipped in a rebound of a Niklas Hjalmarsson shot that Backstrom stopped, but saw the rebound sail into the air, hit Toews and bound to Saad who fired it in.
With the crowd still buzzing, Bickell notched his first of the game when a rebound of a Viktor Stalberg shot came to the winger and Bickell spun, let the puck settle and flung it past Backstrom.
It became 3-1 when Bickell whistled a wrist shot from the left circle that grazed Backstrom as it sailed past the goalie and into the net.
The Hawks kept coming as Hossa beat Backstrom from the right circle and drew more chants of "Hossa, Hossa, Hossa."
To start the second, Wild coach Mike Yeo replaced Backstrom in goal with Kuemper. It wasn't Backstrom's night as the netminder yielded the four goals on 17 shots.
Ryan Suter scored early in the third for the Wild and Kyle Brodziak made it a 4-3 game midway through the period. But Kane scored about a minute later to up the lead to 5-3.