As good as the Blackhawks have been at drawing penalties in the preseason, their special teams have been just as disproportionate. Their Power Play was 0 for 17 in the five games leading up to Friday’s preseason finale, while the Penalty Kill was 18 for 19.
They finally turned on the power in their fifth Power Play against the Rangers Friday, when Patrick Kane sniped a shot past Henrik Lundqvist in the second period of the Blackhawks’ 3-2 overtime (shootout) loss.
This makes Chicago 1 for 22 on the Power Play (and 20 for 21 on the Penalty Kill).
A lacking Power Play not something new for the team, but it is something they’d hoped to change with an evolving roster.
Adding Brad Richards was, among other things, meant to alleviate Power Play woes. In his 13 years in the NHL, Richards has earned 41 percent of his 867 points with an opponent in the penalty box.
The Blackhawks tried him alongside Brent Seabrook, on the blue line, in Nick Leddy‘s usual spot. That’s a tradeoff, of course. Richards has a mind for offense, and the Blackhawks need to get the puck to the net, especially on a Power Play. But, putting him in a defender’s position leaves a normally-protected spot open.
“It doesn’t matter how fancy you want to get, shooting the puck is always the No. 1 recipe for a good power play,” Richards said. “You can’t be on the perimeter the whole power play, you’ll just kill it off yourself. You have to have a shooting mentality.”
Therein lies the Hawks’ problem on the Power Play–wasting time passing that could be spent shooting.
“We were looking for too many stick-to-stick plays and too many perfect plays we didn’t shoot the puck on the power play,” Coach Joel Quenneville said after Wednesday’s loss in Montreal. “We could’ve gotten more momentum off it.”
The 1 for 5 Power Play stat helped Chicago recover from a 1-0 deficit in the second period.
Mats Zuccarello (round one) and Malone (round nine) scored in the nine-round shootout to give New York the victory.
As the consolation prize, Chicago fans were able to see Teravainen (round three) do this:
In the Blackhawks’ 3-1 loss to the Canadiens Wednesday, they were 0 and 4 on the Power Play. They led Montreal in shots 32-19 and faceoff wins 30-27.
Montreal’s goaltender Carey Price made 31 saves and the team blocked 23 shots for the win. The game was scoreless through two periods.
At 4:03 into the third, Rene Bourque (Christian Thomas, Nathan Beaulieu) shot a wrister past netminder Antti Raanta. Just under two minutes later, Beaulieu tipped in a shot from Drayson Bowman (Jake Dowell).
Even when victorious, as they were in their 5-0 shutout victory against the Edmonton Oilers Sunday, the Hawks were 0-3 on the Power Play.
In the third period, Shaw (David Rundblad) and Versteeg (Bickell) tallied the final two goals.
In the Blackhawks 4-1 loss against the Rangers last Friday, Chicago was 0 for 3 with the Power Play man-advantage yet again.
The Blackhawks’ Power Play was 0 for 4 in their 3-2 loss to the Red Wings last Thursday.
Detroit took Chicago in shots on goal as well–41-28.
Nestrasil (Noseck, Abdelkader) scored 11:52 into the period for a 3-1 lead and the Blackhawks were only able to get one more goal Ross (Leddy, Peter Regin) before the clock ran out.
The Blackhawks won an exciting preseason opener with an overtime goal from Toews. Their Power Play was 0 for 4 in this meeting as well.