Ranking doesn’t tell true story of penalty kill
By Adam L. Jahns firstname.lastname@example.org December 17, 2011 12:08AM
Updated: January 18, 2012 8:12AM
Forget what the Blackhawks’ penalty-kill ranking says. Coach Joel Quenne-ville and his players believe it’s good and would even call it consistent.
The Hawks have killed off 18 consecutive penalties, including three in their 4-1 victory Friday against the Anaheim Ducks at the United Center.
“Things are going right,” forward Dave Bolland said. “We’re doing the right things with our assignments and who we’re out there against. We’re keeping it pretty straight. With [assistant coach] Mike Haviland giving us the assignments, he’s done a great job with it.
“The more you do, the more you can get in trouble. The more you just stay safe and grounded, it makes it a lot tougher on the other team to get those passes through you.”
The Hawks entered Friday with the 27th-ranked penalty kill (77.9 percent).
But if you take out the Hawks’ 9-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Nov. 19 and their 6-2 defeat against the Vancouver Canucks on Nov. 6 in which they allowed a combined nine power-play goals, their PK ranking looks much different.
The Hawks’ adjusted ranking heading into Friday’s game would’ve been 85 percent, which would give them one of the best units in the league.
“PK-wise, you can go back to a few games where it blows it all out of proportion, but it’s been relatively consistent throughout the whole year,” Quenneville said.
The Hawks also aren’t in the box much, committing the third-fewest penalties in the league.
“Every team has different options [on the power play] and the capability of having a big night,” Quenneville said. “Let’s make sure we are out of the box.’’
In and out
As expected, tough guy Daniel Carcillo missed Friday’s game with what Quenneville called a “not serious” upper-body injury.
Asked whether Carcillo’s injury happened in the scuffles he was involved in Wednesday against the Minnesota Wild, Quenneville only said “it happened last game.”
Ben Smith was called up from Rockford with Carcillo hurting, but defenseman/enforcer John Scott got the nod on the fourth line. Sean O’Donnell took the sixth-defenseman spot as Sami Lepisto was a healthy scratch for the 22nd time.