Takeaway #3: How bad can the Blackhawks Powerplay get?
Coming into the opening round, it was no shock that the Blackhawks powerplay had much to be desired this season. Ranked 28th in the league during the regular season, it was something the Hawks needed to improve in order to succeed in the postseason.
In the last two games, Chicago has been even worse than they were in the regular season with the man advantage. They have gone a combined 1-10 on the PP in the past two games. Tonight, they also only registered 7 shots in over 12 minutes with the man advantage. That stat alone is just awful. We all know that Edmonton is a very physical team that thrives on laying the body. If the Blackhawks want to seal the deal on Saturday, they need to take advantage of these golden opportunities.
Instead of trying to pass around and find an open look, maybe the Windy City should just simplify things like they were very successful doing during 5 on 5 play tonight. Also, so many shot attempts have been blocked by the Oilers 2nd ranked penalty kill. The Hawks need to find a way to get these chances all the way through to the net, as Koskinen and Smith have both not looked that solid in net during times of this series. If the Blackhawks can get some all the way through, some puck luck might finally be on Chicago’s side for once.
I will admit that the addition of Kirby Dach on the 1st powerplay unit has helped out a lot, but something still needs to be changed. Clearly, it hasn’t been working and if something doesn’t change it will come back to bite the Hawks later on.
Will the Blackhawks be able to close out the series in Game 4 over a very desperate Edmonton? We’ll find the answer to that question on Friday. Game time is tentatively scheduled for 5:45 PM CT.