Sitting at his stall in the visitors' dressing room at Jobing.com Arena, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews glanced to his right and expressed relief at his new living accommodations on the road.

"It was five long years with '88' over there," Toews said after spotting Patrick Kane unlacing his skates. "I think we're both more than happy to part ways. We had some great memories and some bad ones."

Toews was laughing as he discussed the provision in the new collective bargaining agreement that allows NHL players in at least their second contracts to get their own hotel rooms during road trips. That means Toews and Kane, who have roomed together on the road since entering the league in 2007, have gone their separate ways.

"It's good, it's good," Kane said with a chuckle before the Hawks' game against the Coyotes on Sunday night. "I don't have to deal with him anymore. He hooks up to his little (workout) machine and I don't have to watch him do that throughout the whole night or watch him throw his water bottles on my side of the room. It's definitely more peaceful. We were roommates for five years. That's a long time. It's was a good run."

Toews and Kane were having plenty of fun at each other's expense, but playing 10 of the first 12 games of this season on the road is no laughing matter. The stretch could very well dictate the direction of the season with only 48 games in the all-out sprint to the postseason.

"When you first see the schedule, it's almost like it's a disadvantage to start out that way," Kane said. "But ... if we can off to a good start and get through these first 12 games with a halfway decent or good record, you have a lot of home games to give yourself a chance to get confidence and win some games down the stretch. It's actually beneficial to us. If it's any indication, the way we played (Saturday), it could be really good for our team."