"What's up with the power play? I used to be excited when we got a power play in the past. Now I feel like we're not gonna score."
That was the first call of the night on the WGN postgame show after Saturday's 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins.
Other than Patrick Kane's move to the middle, no topic has generated more headlines during the first four games than the Blackhawks going 2 for 17 on the power play.
This is basically the same group that ranked 4th in the National Hockey League last year on the man advantage. It’s too early to worry.
Going 0 for 3 against the Bruins and Vezina winner Tim Thomas on Saturday night isn’t a big deal. Surrendering a shorthanded (game-tying) goal and nearly allowing another is the alarming part.
Several players have said they need to simplify the power play. They have to move to puck quicker. And Head Coach Joel Quenneville says they’re passing up shots.
Jonathan Toews is looking for more puck support.
“We just played two teams (Winnipeg and Boston) that pressure a lot on the penalty kill,” he said. “We definitely need to simplify our plays, but most of all, just support each other. If there is a scramble and puck possession isn’t clear, we have to be the team that’s outnumbering them. We do those little things better, we’ll be just fine.”
Time on the power play unit is still a privilege, even for the elite skill players the Blackhawks possess. There needs to be a better work ethic.
Power plays goals will come for the Blackhawks.