Apr 1, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook (7) clears the puck during the second period against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

Summer Assignment: The Power Play

Season Stats

Power Play Chances-277

Power Play Goals-42

Power Play %- 15.2%

Short Handed Goals Allowed-3

NHL Rank-26

Playoff Stats

Power Play Chances-19

Power Play Goals-1

Power Play %- 5.3%

Season Review

There are many mysteries in life, the loch ness monster, abominable snowman, North Dakota.. but one of the biggest mysteries of the 2011-2012 season has to be the power play unit of the Chicago Blackhawks.  The Hawks were tied for 5th overall in total goals scored for the entire NHL season with 241, yet  only 42 of those goals came with the man advantage.  By the end of the season people on Twitter were begging for their to be no 2:00 power play and just to leave it 5 on 5.  The longer the season went on, especially during the 9 game losing streak, the worse the power play began to look.  It was very hapless and many a time, the two minutes went by without even an attempt of a shot, let alone a good scoring opportunity.  With almost the same cast of players from 2010-2011 excluding Brian Campbell and Troy Brouwer the unit scored 22 fewer goals on the same exact amount of attempts.

The playoffs began, and the magical light didn’t turn on  for the power play.  Bryan Bickell scored the lone power play goal in the Phoenix Coyotes series, a game which of course was a road win, weird how power play goals lead to victories especially in the playoffs! Mike Smith played great but 5% is an  interst  rate not a power play percentage in the NHL, and it’s hard to advance at any level with that kind of production.

The scapegoat for the poor power play was assistant coach Mike Haviland.  Someone had to take the blame for a roster full of offensive talent that could not get it done on the power play. The real problem was lack of direction on the power play.  Half the team wanted to dump and chase, while others carried it over to set it up, and at least one time per power play Patrick Kane  would freelance from one end of the rink to another  only to get it poked checked away or stolen.  Too many offsides entering the zone combined with turnovers and shots getting blocked from the point, it really was a horror show for 2:00 minutes.  Another problem was the opening face off of the power play was lost too many times which caused for the regroup and dysfunction of the power play.

The fix would be easy.. Find a talented big man and park him in front of the goalie.  Who that big man is may be an issue, there are possibilities Jimmy Hayes is a big body but does he have the talent or will he even get a chance in that position.  The second way is for the next power play coach to get a system in place and make sure everyone is on the same page.  These are valuable game changing minutes that cannot be squandered. There are many specifics that need to be addressed along with the right 5 skaters, but the main thing would be to have a system and follow it, even if there are small growing pains to a bigger solution down the road.

Grade-F

You can assign blame to  many of this season failures to the worst 2 minutes in hockey.

 

Let’s Go Hawks!!!!

Tags: Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane Phoenix Coytoes

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