Photo: Sarah A.
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) February 10, 2015
Video review from the Situation Room in Toronto ruled in goaltender Mike Smith and the Coyotes’ favor — there simply was not enough evidence to overturn the official’s on-ice no goal call.
Blackhawks fans can watch and re-watch that goal from every possible angle until their eyes pop out of their heads while rage sends smoke out of their ears.
But, what really needs to be acknowledged were the other missed opportunities — the other 64-plus minutes that were in their control, specifically eight minutes on the power play that came and went without a single goal.
In the Blackhawks’ four power plays, the Coyotes got off as many shorthanded shots as the Blackhawks got with the man-advantage — a dismal two.
“I didn’t like it,” Coach Joel Quenneville told Chicago media about the power play. “We can talk about it all day. It started out poorly and ended poorly. You can talk about every aspect of it tonight. We didn’t have any possession time, really. No presence or shot threats.”
But, why make it harder on themselves? They have an extra attacker on the ice (sometimes two) and they have the league leader in points, Patrick Kane, with the likes of Captain Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Brandon Saad, Brad Richards, and top defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook — but their dizzying passing plays put very few pucks on net.
The Blackhawks are regularly copiously outhit by their opponents.
Entering tonight, the #Blackhawks have been outhit in 120 consecutive regular season games. They are 70-37-13 over that stretch.
— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) February 10, 2015
An effective power play would not only boost scores, it could make opponents think twice before delivering a questionable blow. After all, if a team can’t score with an extra attacker, why not take a breather in the penalty box?
That said, a “meh” man-advantage is nothing new for the team. It hasn’t held them back from success, even. Their last two championship-winning years, 2013 and 2010, they ranked 19th and 16th in the league in power play percentage, respectively.
And, the team has plenty of consolation.
For example, that one power play goal in the last four games was Hossa’s go-ahead goal Sunday in St. Louis against the division’s second-place Blues. With less than 9 minutes remaining in the game and the score knotted at 2, Hossa fired in a goal set up by Saad and Bryan Bickell. Hossa then knocked in an empty-netter for insurance.
And, even though they weren’t able to capitalize Monday against the Coyotes, the team has Kane for clutch situations like shootouts.
He is currently tied at first in the league with 59 points this season. He has 26 goals (seventh) and 33 assists (10th). He also only has four penalty minutes.
The Blackhawks returned Monday from a seven-game road trip where they finished 4-3-0. The managed one-point in their 3-2 overtime loss to the Coyotes back at the United Center Monday night.
They sit at third in the Central Division — three points behind the Blues and seven points behind the Nashville Predators.
Monday launched an eight-game homestand for the team, where perhaps their crowd can turn things around.
Chicago’s next game is at 7:00 p.m. CT Wednesday against the Vancouver Canucks, a former furious foe.