Power-Play Showing Signs Of Life
Oct 1, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya (27) is congratulated by defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (4) for scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals during the third period at the United Center. The Blackhawks beat the Capitals 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
Even with all of the success the Blackhawks had in scoring goals last season, the power-play was the one thing they could not quite get right. The Blackhawks held the league’s 19th-ranked man-advantage last season, converting on only 16% of their chances. This time around, they are off to a much better start, currently in 10th place, scoring on every fourth opportunity. The Blackhawks haven’t made any major changes personnel-wise on the PP units, but better movement, usage of the defenseman, and net-front traffic have generated hordes of opportunities. The Blackhawks scored both of their goals on the powerplay against St. Louis, something hard to come by in years past. If the penalty kill picks up its pace and returns to what it was a year before, the Blackhawks will be one of the most dangerous special-teams units in the NHL.