The Chicago Blackhawks are finding ways to fix the problems that have dealt them such a horrendous start to the 2018-19′ season. With the power play being such a harsh pin point of discussion, the Blackhawks found a way to fix that. But, is it enough?
The Chicago Blackhawks had the league’s worst power play unit not too long ago this year. With a struggling penalty kill unit finding ways to get things done, the Blackhawks needed to shed some light on their power play unit to regain a sense of success.
Recently, this dynamic duo has been on fire. DeBrincat, who leads the Blackhawks in power play goals (7), has scored five goals on the PP in his last nine games.
To aid the chemistry, Kane has had a primary assist on four of DeBrincat’s previous five power play goals, as well as four PPG’s of his own in a nine game span.
Their recent power play success has piled onto their overall season success as well. Kane leads the team in points on the PP, scoring 6 goals and 13 assists for 19 points. With 60 points on the year, Kane can thank the man advantage for 31% of his scoring on the year.
With a reminder of the dynamics between Kane and former teammate Artemi Panarin, it seems as if the Blackhawks power play has found its saviors and like-minded goal scorers.
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However, as amazing it is to see two bright stars shining on the team, there comes a doubt in mind if the ‘Hawks recent power play success is enough to win games and climb out of the hole that is being the 27th worst team in the league.
Although the power play is 11-for-29 over the last 9 games, transporting them from 31st in the league to 20th, the Blackhawks are a mere 4-3-3 in their last ten games. Saturday’s loss to the Vegas Golden Knights was a prime example of the power play just not being enough to close out a win.
Despite the power play, the Blackhawks still have problems
Despite going 2-for-4 on the power play, thanks to DeBrincat and Kane, and shutting out the Knight’s power play, the ‘Hawks blew a 3-1 lead and fell in overtime. The power play is doing its part, but other relying factors are pulling this team back and unwillingly stripping them of their potential to climb back into the standings.
Those problems? They persist defensively. The ‘Hawks have 25 goals from eight different players on the power play, which is enough to gain success in timely moments in games to win. We’ve seen them score timely power play goals over the last nine games, but they just haven’t been enough.
The team needs to have full capabilities to score throughout games. They’re locked in 15th place in scoring with 137 goals on the year, but their differential is a -34. With their defense still finding a way to become better than mediocre, the ‘Hawks are going to need more scoring, backed up with even better goaltending down the line if they’re to climb out of this hole.
With goaltender Collin Delia making an average of 39 saves per game throughout his seven starts this season, the offense is going to need to put up major numbers to keep afloat. Regardless of Delia’s astounding .932 save percentage and 2.70 goals against average, the rest of the Chicago Blackhawks have proven that he is not enough to carry them through a dream run for a playoff spot.
It’s almost a narrative this year that no matter how many good things happen to this team, no matter what pieces come together to make this team fun to watch again, there will always be a single ailment to keep pushing their heads below the ever-rising high tide.
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Hopefully they’ll come together soon and put on a run like they started to in December, where they went 6-8-1, which was considerably better than November’s 3-8-2. If the Blackhawks are going to find a way to win, it’s certainly going to be more complicated than just scoring power play goals.