Mar 8, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Rangers goalie Cam Talbot (33) makes a save on Chicago Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad (20) during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Blackhawks currently rank 20th on the power play with a 17.6 PP%. In 222 power play opportunities the Blackhawks have only managed to put the puck in the net 39 times. This puts them in a position where 2/3 of the NHL has done a better job than they have so far. The season is winding down and the race for the playoffs is in full effect. There is still time to right the ship on the power play but if the Chicago Blackhawks don’t do it sooner than later they will be in for a big surprise come playoff time. The Chicago Blackhawks need an answer on the power play and they need it quick!
Prior to Patrick Kane’s injury the Chicago Blackhawks power play was kind of like a roller coaster, they had some highs and they had some lows in scoring. The problem then more relied on them not shooting enough because they were too busy controlling the puck and passing it back and forth. Now without Patrick Kane’s magnificent puck handling abilities the Blackhawks cannot keep as good of possession of the puck like times before. Recently they have had a hard time trying to keep possession of the puck and find themselves turning it over before they can get their plays going on the opposite end. There are still several skilled players who have good puck handling abilities on the team such as Jonathan Toews and Teuvo Teravainen who can run the point though.
The other factor is that Patrick Kane normally draws a lot of defensemen his way while controlling the puck when he is on the ice. When this happens there are holes that are opened where players can skate into before rifling the puck towards the net. Without his presence these holes have seemed to of close and the other teams are doing a better job at battling for the puck and clearing it back into the other end. I have also noticed there has been a lack of net presence which creates screens and makes it difficult for the goalie to see where the puck is coming from. Not only does the net presence do that, it also can lead to deflections which somehow find their way to the back of the net in the most amazing fashion.
Instead of jumping into his famous line finagling this is where I believe Coach Quenneville needs to look no further than Tuevo Teravainen. He somewhat possesses the same flashy puck handling abilites and is able to pass and drive the puck into the zone with his speed. I believe that if Coach Q puts the keys in Teravainen’s hands the increased responsibility will help him mature even farther than he has come so far. We’re already beginning to see what the buzz was all about but I do not think he has been given enough ice time to REALLY show us what he can do. The game against the Rangers was a perfect example, he received 17:11 of ice time which was a career high and even all the announcers started to talk about the skill they were seeing from him out there on the ice. Increased time and responsibility on the power play should be part of the answer on the power play.
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Tuevo Teravainen cannot handle it all himself though, there will have to be an answer from all of the players especially the stars like Toews, Hossa, and Sharp. Once they can get their confidence going on the power play the goals should follow. Not to mention, puck possession is the key on the power play so the Blackhawks must focus on eliminating turnovers and getting the puck to the net instead of taking that 1 extra pass which was not needed. Regardless, the Chicago Blackhawks need an answer on the power play. Do you have any other ideas?
Please feel free to leave your thoughts on what the answer may be in correcting the Chicago Blackhawks power play in the comments section below!
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