Chicago Blackhawks’ Zone Entries, Net-Front Presence Helping Offense

By Stephen Yatsushiro
MONTREAL, QC - OCTOBER 10: Brandon Saad
MONTREAL, QC - OCTOBER 10: Brandon Saad /
5 of 5
SUNRISE, FL – NOVEMBER 25: Patrick Kane
SUNRISE, FL – NOVEMBER 25: Patrick Kane /

Nov. 25: at Florida Panthers, 4-1 victory

After the stinging overtime loss to Tampa Bay, the ‘Hawks came out strong with one of their most dominant periods against the Panthers. The top line had a ridiculous Corsi-for of 100 percent, while Brandon Saad fired seven shots on goal.

Goal 1:

Tommy Wingels

carried the puck behind the net and slid it into the slot, where a rushing

John Hayden

snapped in a shot behind goalie

Roberto Luongo

.  Notice that both Hayden and

Lance Bouma

were positioned in front as

dual options

and this structure paid dividends.

Goal 2:

With both Brandon Saad and

Richard Panik

camped in the front of the crease,

Jonathan Toews

fires a pass for an easy tap-in by Saad.  Again, the

dual net-front presence

paid off.

Goal 3:

Patrick Kane fired in a wicked shot with

dual net-front presence

from Toews and Saad.

Goal 4:

Jonathan Toews simply swats the puck in mid-air toward the net and past goalie Roberto Luongo for a quick goal.  Here again, simply putting the puck toward the net paid off.

Conclusion: Less is more!

So the moral of the story, boys and girls, is that adhering to the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) method can pay big dividends.  The ‘Hawks have a bevy of talented players who can make great things happen with their sticks.

With their skilled hands, they can get their sticks on easy tap-ins and juicy rebounds when they go to the net. When they get too full of themselves, they can overcomplicate matters and get tied up in their own shorts.  We saw both the good and bad in the Lightning game, and a good rebound from that effort in the Panthers game.

Next: 3 Blackhawks Who Need To Produce More On Offense

This week presents three games in four nights against Western Conference foes.  No doubt this will be a big test for the ‘Hawks to continue with their straightforward, north-south style and to make a bold statement about their season.  We’ll be looking for that “pace and predictability” in their effort.