The Chicago Blackhawks have been abysmal on the powerplay this year, most notably missing a net-front presence
A powerplay in hockey is really quite simple. If a team commits a penalty, it is forced to play without one of its players for a duration, depending on how severe the penalty was. For a minor penalty, the players sits for two minutes, a double-minor penalty for four minutes and a major penalty for five minutes.
This gives an opportunity to the opposing team to play with a man-advantage and thus have one player that is not being defended.
In most cases, teams see this as an advantage to score a goal. The Chicago Blackhawks have not been so fortunate. The ‘Hawks are currently 28th in the NHL, scoring goals on just 12.7 percent of their powerplay opportunities.
Ever since last season in the playoffs, when the Nashville Predators stacked the blue line and forced the Blackhawks to dump the puck in, NHL teams know how to defend the ‘Hawks. It’s not a secret anymore that the Blackhawks like to control the puck and aren’t very good when they don’t.
This season, the powerplay has been awful with little puck movement, stagnant players and, most noticeably, no net-front presence.
Blackhawks fans today took to Craigslist to voice their displeasure with the powerplay. The post shows a job listing for a “Net-Front Presence Representative” and lists phony qualifications for what the ‘Hawks are lacking.
We are to the point where what should be a dominant advantage for the Blackhawks has turned into satire. Let’s hope coach Joel Quenneville and specifically assistant coach Kevin Dineen can right the ship sooner rather than later.