Photo: Sarah A.

Everyone is talking about the Chicago Blackhawks‘ goal that wasn’t (or the goals that weren’t) in Monday night’s loss against the Arizona Coyotes.

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.

Hits favored opponents 115-56 in the last four games against Arizona, St. Louis, Winnipeg and Minnesota. They were one for nine in power plays during that time.

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.

Recap

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.

 

 

Carly Mullady grew up needing to know more about icing than its deliciousness on cupcakes. She's the lone daughter of four children, with a father who was among the last cut from the Midwest tryouts for the 1980 Miracle on Ice Olympic team. And she knows very little matches the thrill that happens from puck-drop to handshakes. A rink didn’t return to her hometown until she was gone, but she’s been able to see two younger brothers on the ice. She's their feistiest fan. Her other hockey loyalty lies with the Blackhawks--whether it's meant seeing games for $8 with student IDs when the Madhouse didn’t have much of a temper at all, or dancing to Chelsea Dagger at standing room only--there’s something magical about a roaring anthem, the Indianhead sweater, and the Original Six. A former journalist and current editor, she carries a penchant for excitement (and maybe even fighting) with a resume that includes working for Chicago-area newspapers, and television, including The Jerry Springer Show, as well as NBCUniversal in New York. After East Coast living and a return to the Chicago area, the new Mrs. is giving Graceland a go with her Southern Gent, who now shares her adoration of the game, and their rescue dog, Doc Holliday. Other interests include Cubs, Bears, Illini, Crimson Tide, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, baking a mean pineapple upside-down cake, Kate Spade accessories, and a properly coordinated cardigan for every ensemble.

1 COMMENT

Leave a Reply