At the midway point of the NHL season, the Chicago Blackhawks have one of the league’s best powerplays and look poised to keep putting the puck in the net.
After years of frustration with the man-advantage, the Blackhawks have finally figured out the correct formula for solving their powerplay woes. They are moving the puck around very well and generating numerous chances in the offensive zone. This is a far cry from many previous seasons, where the ‘Hawks powerplay often struggled under the defensive-minded coaching of Joel Quenneville.
Currently, the Blackhawks have the third-best powerplay in the league at 31 percent. They’ve scored on 26 out of their 84 man-advantage opportunities. Considering the league average is only 17 powerplay goals out of a similar average of 82 opportunities, it is easy to see why the ‘Hawks powerplay has been so dominant.
The Blackhawks’ powerplay unit has been led so far by Alex DeBrincat. The Cat has scored five goals on the man-advantage so far and looks more than comfortable on the powerplay’s top line. Surprisingly, Patrick Kane has only scored two powerplay goals this year but has been moving the puck around brilliantly, tallying 12 PP assists.
The most important thing for the Blackhawks at the midway point of this shortened season is to keep the pressure on their man-advantage unit. Obviously, the team has had tremendous success with their powerplay so far. They’ve also improved their special team’s breakout, moving away from the 1-3-1 formation that never seemed to click last season in favor of a more aggressive approach.
While people do like to complain about Head Coach Jeremy Colliton, there is no doubt that he has vastly improved the Blackhawks’ powerplay unit, and hopefully, the team will be able to put just as many pucks in the net in the second half of the season.
If I were to give the powerplay unit a grade, there is no reason to give them anything less than an A+. This team has completely surprised everybody with their man-advantage play this season, and they look poised to continue that trend into the latter half of the year.