Quenneville wants to see more shots and traffic on Blackhawks’ power play
BY MARK LAZERUS firstname.lastname@example.org April 14, 2013 9:13PM
Chicago Blackhawks center Michal Handzus, left, pins St. Louis Blues left wing David Perron against the boards in third period action during a game between the Blues and the Blackhawks on Sunday April 14, 2013, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chris Lee) EDWARDSVILLE INTELLIGENCER OUT; THE ALTON TELEGRAPH OUT
sTARS AT BLACKHAWKS
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Updated: April 14, 2013 11:26PM
ST. LOUIS — In their last eight games, the Blackhawks have had 15 power plays and haven’t scored.
The fact that they’re 7-0-1 in those games does little to mitigate the Hawks’ frustration.
“The power play was close a few times again,” Jonathan Toews said Sunday after the Hawks’ 2-0 victory, during which they went 0-for-3 with no shots on goal. “We’re frustrated because we’re not getting the results we want, but that’s life. We’ll keep working at it. We know we’ve got a lot of skill, and eventually it’s got to go our way.”
Dating to March 25, the Hawks are 1-for-28 on the power play. The first thing coach Joel Quenneville wants to see his team do is shoot more. By making too many passes and being a little too patient — and sometimes by getting too cute with the puck — the Hawks are limiting their chances and giving the opposition opportunities to pounce on the puck and clear it.
Quenneville also wants to create more traffic in front of the net. He put Andrew Shaw back in that position after four straight games off the power-play unit. Viktor Stalberg continues to see time in that role, and Michal Handzus had some opportunities there the last few games but not Sunday.
“We definitely want to have that,” Quenneville said. “We want to have traffic; you want to have shots at the net. We’re still not shooting enough. But you still need somebody to get in front of the goal. From that, we should be able to improvise. But we haven’t been shooting enough lately, and that’s something we’ll address.”
Quenneville said he has a “couple of guys” who can try their hand at that role and that he’ll likely continue experimenting over the last seven games to try to get the power play back on track before the playoffs.
“Our power play, you look at the number we had tonight, I didn’t like it,” he said. “We changed some things on it today, but it might not have been as effective as it’s been in other games. It still didn’t slow down our team game, [and] you don’t want it to get to that point, but we’re still looking for some production there to start feeling good about it, which can really help our offense.”