Dan Carcillo’s 4-minute penalty no problem for Hawks
BY MARK LAZERUS firstname.lastname@example.org April 6, 2013 9:42PM
Updated: May 8, 2013 7:10AM
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Daniel Carcillo was roughly parallel to the ice, face up, when his arms flailed and his stick slammed into the face of Nashville’s Shea Weber. The fact that Weber was the one who put Carcillo in that position with a hit along the boards mattered less than the blood trickling from Weber’s nose, and Carcillo was sent to the box for four minutes to pay for his crime.
“What’re you going to do?” Carcillo said with a shrug. “Sit it out. I’ll just try and control my stick better the next time I get creamed.”
The timing couldn’t have been worse. The Blackhawks were nursing a one-goal lead eight minutes into the third period, and the Predators suddenly had four minutes of power-play time to draw even.
But Carcillo was calm in the penalty box. The way the Hawks have been killing penalties lately, he had little reason to worry.
“Our PK’s been great all year, and they came through again,” he said. “I expected nothing less.”
Not only did the Hawks kill off the double-minor, they outshot the Predators on it 1-0.
“That’s why it was such a big kill — the timing of it, the four-minute opportunity they got there,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “That was probably the key moment of the game.”
The Hawks haven’t allowed a power-play goal since March 18, killing all 16 penalties over their last nine games. As encouraging as that stat is, the fact that the number is so low — 16 power plays in nine games — is even more so after a spate of penalties in the middle of the season.
“There haven’t been many in our games here,” Quenneville said. “Throughout the league, you watch and the power plays are down. I think that helps. But [Nashville has] a couple of guys over there that can hit it pretty hard, [and we had] awareness of that. I thought the guys did a good job with where they were positionally.”
Quenneville used Brandon Saad and Michal Handzus as a third forward pairing on the penalty kill, joining Michael Frolik and Marcus Kruger, and Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. The effect was clear, and the rest of the team got a big lift from the big kill.
“Especially four minutes,” Bryan Bickell said. “It gets you fired up to get the win and keep the puck out of the net.”