Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
It has been a staple of their success and something they’ve relied on for most of the season. But the Blackhawks’ power play has gone from riches to rags, and those floundering ways continued at an awful time Sunday.
The Hawks went 0-for-3 with the man advantage in their 4-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, including one in the final three minutes that, if converted, would have tied the score and possibly resulted in the one point they needed to ensure their playoff berth.
The Hawks closed out the regular season 2-for-21 on the power play in their last seven games. It’s far from the pace they were clicking at for most of the season, considering they came into the game with the fourth-best mark in the league.
“We had a couple of looks that looked like they could be dangerous,” said coach Joel Quenneville, who saw his power-play units record only two shots. “The last one was frustrating. It didn’t generate what we were looking for.”
Winger Patrick Kane thought the Hawks deserved a few more calls, but the officials showed a tendency to allow more of a playoff-like game. One big penalty was missed: Justin Abdelkader’s elbow to the face of defenseman Brent Seabrook in the third period.
“We didn’t generate anything to be successful enough [on the power play],” Kane said. “Even the power plays we did have, there was a lot of holding, clutching and grabbing by them out there that usually gets called, which is unfortunate.
“There were plays you were coming up in the zone and trying to go back to the net, [and there was] clutching and grabbing, which is playoff hockey, and you expect that at this time of year. But it would have been nice to get a couple of more.”
Defenseman Duncan Keith said he felt “the puck was a tennis ball all game long,” which would suggest the United Center ice again was choppy. The warm weather definitely didn’t help.
Kane said the ice was different than recent games in Montreal and Detroit.
“The ice seems so nice out there,” Kane said. “You’d think in Chicago they’d have good ice, too. It was definitely pretty choppy. . . .
“When the game is going like that, you’ve got to find ways to get it in and try to jam pucks in, kind of like the goals we had.”