After not playing for four days from Monday until Friday night and with the Edmonton Oilers coming into town and with all the new pieces in place for the Chicago Blackhawks it looked to be an exciting weekend of goals and Chelsea Dagger at the United Center, but low and behold something went missing and it was the Blackhawks offense.
It didn’t stop Friday night and somehow the Blackhawks pulled out two points in the last period against the Oilers, but last night against the Rangers the offense struggled mightily. The Blackhawks scored one goal in 6 periods this weekend so I want to know where’s the offense?
The beginning of the struggle and the thing you have to point out directly is the powerplay. It is brutal! The Blackhawks powerplay since Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd left in 2010 has been sub par to say it nicely, but last night was a total display of how not to run a professional powerplay. They couldn’t get pucks into the zone, they couldn’t keep pucks in the zone and lastly they had 1 shot yes ONE shot in four chances through 2 periods last night.
The second thing to point at is Patrick Sharp. He’s got every bad mojo possible going right now. He hits posts when he beats goalies, when he’s in all alone he can’t beat the goalie and it’s seems as frustrating for him as it is the fans. Let’s be honest though Coach Quenneville hasn’t done him any favors by playing him with Daniel Carcillo last night. Everyone keeps waiting for Sharp to bust out but it seems like that moment isn’t coming this season.
The other thing is the lineups. I as always blame Quennevillle for this one. The Blackhawks lines scored 5 times last Monday with the addition Antoine Vermette and yet Q did the one thing he never does and he changed his lineup after a convincing win which the Hawks scored 5 times!! When Pat Foley asked Eddie last Monday night how long it takes for everyone to feel comfortable and gel he said 10 games so these growing pains are expected but why did we have to change it up when things went well the first time out?
One thing that Coach Q better not do is pull Teuvo Teravainen, he played by far his best game as a Chicago Blackhawks player last night and should be in thick of the offense from here on out.
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Lastly, I point to Bryan Bickell who we all know was a healthy scratch last night. His big body should be in front of the net on powerplays and on his shifts with his regular line when he is playing. The Hawks can fire as many shots from the point that they want but if Playoff Bickell doesn’t show up the Hawks have no net front presence!
Who do you have on your Blackhawks Milk Carton? Two games this weekend were tough to watch and there are only 16 games left to turn the tide! Please find the Blackhawks offense!!!
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