Coach Quenneville addresses Blackhawks’ power outage
BY MARK LAZERUS firstname.lastname@example.org May 22, 2013 11:04PM
At Hawks 4
At Hawks 1
At Wings 3
7 p.m. Thursday
at Detroit, NBCSN
7 p.m. Saturday
at Hawks, Ch. 5
GAME 6 if necessary
GAME 7 if necessary
Updated: June 24, 2013 2:09PM
Joel Quenneville tried putting all his top guys on one power-play unit, and it didn’t work. So now he’s spreading the wealth again.
At Wednesday’s practice, the Hawks’ top unit had Marian Hossa and Duncan Keith at the points, with Patrick Sharp, Brandon Saad and Bryan Bickell up front.
The second unit featured Michal Rozsival and either Brent Seabrook or Nick Leddy at the point, with Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Andrew Shaw.
“We’re just looking for a little more balance on the units,” Quenneville said.
The Hawks are just 3-for-22 on the power play this postseason, including 0-for-6 in losses to Detroit in Games 2 and 3. Even a unit featuring all-stars Keith, Sharp, Hossa, Toews and Kane struggled to get anything past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.
“The last couple games, it hasn’t been very good,” Keith said. “So probably expect some changes there.”
Bickell’s addition in front gives the Hawks a big body to both deflect shots and block Howard’s vision.
“Howard’s playing great, he’s a hot goaltender right now,” Shaw said. “Getting big bodies like Bicks in front of the net and finding those loose pucks and putting them home, I think it’s going to be great for us. … They have big defensemen and they can move you pretty well. We’ve just got to battle and compete and try to take his eyes away as much as possible.”
Sharp again skated on the top line, to the left of Toews and Hossa. Saad again was with Dave Bolland and Kane on the second line. Quenneville made that move in Game 3, and liked the results. Toews and Saad have combined for no goals and four assists this postseason.
“We weren’t having a ton of success, so we mixed up the lines a little bit,” Saad said. “And I thought we played well last time.”
Walking the line
Shaw has taken five penalties in three games this series, and was told by the coaching staff to do a better job of walking the fine line between agitating and rule-breaking.
“He’s got to know there’s a line you’ve got to make sure you travel and don’t cross,” Quenneville said. “He pushes the envelope.”
Shaw said the heavy trash talk going on in the series hasn’t had anything to do with his penalties.
“That kind of stuff doesn’t usually bother me,” he said. “I’m usually the one doing that.”