The Chicago Blackhawks were defeated last night by the score of 2-1 and trail in the series by the same score. So many things can picked out from game three about why they lost. We could start with the roster decisions, and I’m sure that will get it’s fair share of play before game four tomorrow.
What I want to focus on the is the power play, which has become downright un-watchable at this point. Taking away the two goals from game two on the power play, there has been nothing there.
The dump-ins are bad. The retrievals are bad. The carry-ins aren’t leading to many opportunities. Nothing is work for the Hawks’.
It’s been a surprise to everybody because of the talent that the Hawks’ have. With all the star power, they should have a killer power play. It should be feared by those in the league. Yet, I’m pretty sure Hawks’ fans at this point would rather defer the penalty all together now, that’s how bad it’s gotten.
Where is it going wrong? I’d start with the point men, who aren’t super equipped to quarterback the power play. There isn’t enough player and puck movement. More shots need to get to the net. More bodies need to move around. And sometimes the team is making one pass too many.
The Hawks’ don’t have to make the power play the best in the league, it just needs to trend in the right direction. It doesn’t even need to lead to goals, just more pressure on Fredrick Andersen and the Ducks. If the power play can give the offense a jolt at even strength, that’s a huge problem for the Ducks going forward in this series.
At the moment, the Ducks are clearing the puck with ease and even getting some quality chances short-handed. The Hawks’ need to make the Ducks work for the two minutes, punish them for committing the penalty.
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Now not having one of your better faceoff guys and one of your better skill-players on the ice sure doesn’t help, so yes the lineup changes are an issue. That is no excuse for Patrick Kane, Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. Those guys need to step it up and make the power play resemble something. Keith needs to be more of a quarterback out there (this would be a wonderful time to have Nick Leddy, but that’s another discussion). It’s not far off.
The two power play goals in game two are what it’s supposedly to look like. Get the puck in. Keep the puck in. Cycle. Shoot. Score. Repeat. The problem is the Hawks’ just can’t get the train constantly moving in the right direction. Now the power play isn’t going to cost them the series. They are still better at even strength, but adding a couple power play goals can really make the difference in these games.
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