After losing to them in Chicago in each of their first two games, including a 5-1 defeat Dec. 23, the Blackhawks ought to know just how improved the Jets are this season. Winnipeg, which pushed its point total to 54 with a 2-1 win at the Dallas Stars on Thursday, is four points behind the Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues in the Central Division and appears headed for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"They're an entirely different team, I think," said Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, who is from Winnipeg. "We'll give them credit. They played well the two times we played them but we know we have to be a lot better than we've been in games against that team. The respect factor in this next one really has to be there."
That hasn't always been necessary.