Blackhawks News

Michal Handzus Penalty Kill Specialist!

By Sean Fitzgerald

Dec 11, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Michal Handzus (26) is congratulated by center Marcus Kruger (16) for scoring a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks continue to have penalty killing woes this season. The Blackhawks penalty killing woes began on opening night against the Washington Capitals. The Blackhawks allowed three goals to the Caps that night on the penalty kill. The woes continued onto Wednesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers. Before Wednesday night, the Blackhawks had been for ten for ten on the penalty kill . The Blackhawks allowed only two goals on the Wednesday night, both coming on the penalty kill.

On the season, The Blackhawks are ranked 28th in the NHL on the penalty kill. Coach Quenneville was quoted on the penalty kill woes, “we’ve had pretty much the same system as last year and we’re going back and forth looking at we did, but we need to execute better”. Quenneville went onto say further ” It’s up to us in the locker room to a better job”.

Quote courtsey of

Some of the penaly killing woes can be attributed to the Blackhawks trading one of their top penalty killers last season, Michael Frolik. The Blackhawks are still searching for a replacement to Frolik. Quenneville has tried many players to  go with Marcus Kruger. He’s tried Ben Smith, Brandon Saad, Brandon Bollig, Joakim Nordstrom and Michal Handzus.

Handzus is the player that really shocked me. Handzus who makes turtles look fast, should not be on the penalty kill. I know desperate times call for desperate measures but enough is enough. Being 28th in the league on the penalty qualifies as a desperate time. To Handzus credit, he has not looked substantially worse than anyone else on the penalty kill, but that doesn’t make him good either.

I can guess that Quenneville is thinking he is a big body that block shots and win face offs. He did score a short handed goal on Wednesday night. Despite those skills, I believe his lack of speed negates everything else he does on the penalty kill. Handzus should not be on the plenty kill. With that being stated, Blackhawkup has started the #projectbrookbank movement on twitter. I would like to start another the #handzusPKspecialist movement on twitter.

If the Blackhawks are so desperate to fix the penalty kill, wouldn’t you think they would try Sheldon Brookbank at forward on it? What about Kris Versteeg?

I guess we will have to ponder those questions as we watch #handzusPKspecialist work his magic.

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