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Numbers don’t reflect Blackhawks’ power play

Updated: April 10, 2013 5:50PM



ST. PAUL, Minn. — Winning the Stanley Cup has a way of making everything look better in retrospect. Looking back, team chemistry was never in doubt, losing streaks fade into oblivion and stats just keep getting better. So it’s easy to forgive Patrick Kane for thinking the Hawks’ power play was an unstoppable juggernaut during that heady spring.

“The year we won the Cup, that was one of our biggest things, the power play — we scored all the time,” he said. “We had almost a 30 percent rate.”

Actually, while the Hawks scored a healthy 22.5 percent of the time in the playoffs, they scored at a 17.7 percent clip in the regular season — 16th in the league, just below the league average.

This season, the Hawks are at a similar rate — 16.9 percent, 21st in the league. After going 0-for-2 on Tuesday at Minnesota, they have one goal on their last 22 power plays, but nobody seems concerned.

“It would be a concern if [scoring] chances weren’t coming,” Kane said. “Obviously, we feel we could be better than [21st], and top five is obviously the goal. [But] for us, sometimes you’re getting those chances and they’re not going in. If we keep getting them, we’ll get some chances to score and guys will bury them. It’s definitely something to focus on and improve on.”

Added coach Joel Quenneville: “We haven’t really had the production to reflect how good it’s been. But we’re doing the right things, and we’re not losing momentum in the games, which can happen, so we’re not complaining about the power play.”

Getting Patrick Sharp back in the lineup after he missed 14 games with a shoulder injury should help. Sharp mans the point on the power play; ­Michal Rozsival — whose shot doesn’t have nearly as much weight behind it as Sharp’s — had been filling in.

“Everyone talks about it [like it was] last year, where it was just pretty terrible at times,” Jonathan Toews said. “You’re going to go through droughts where it just doesn’t go in. We just have to get one, and we’ll get two and it’ll go from there.”



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