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Thursday, June 3, 2010
Hawks try to remedy power-play woes

By Jesse Rogers

PHILADELPHIA -- The Chicago Blackhawks are winning the series 2-1 because of their depth. The Philadelphia Flyers are in the series because of special teams.

That, in a nutshell, is the Stanley Cup finals so far.

The Hawks have goals from the most unlikely of sources. In Game 1, it was Tomas Kopecky, in Game 2 Ben Eager, and in Game 3, Brent Sopel scored his first playoff goal in seven years.

They have 11 goals in three games by 10 different players. However, all 11 have come during five on five or four on five play. The Hawks are 0-6 with the man advantage, while the Flyers are 4-10.

“Our power-play, we didn't get many opportunities here as we've gone along here,” Joel Quenneville said. “I think last [Wednesday] night was probably the chance to make an imprint on our power-play. Make it more effective. But we can be better on it, for sure. And that's something we're talking about to improve upon going into tomorrow's [Friday’s] game.”

Quenneville said they need more puck possession and simplicity on the power play as the Hawks spent part of their day looking at video from Game 3, trying to fix what’s wrong. Patrick Kane is trying to find the positive

“To be honest with you, we watched some clips today and I thought we had some chances,” he said. “The biggest thing is movement. We have to move our feet. … We had some good looks, just have to get the pucks on net, I guess.”

Though the Hawks have had some balanced scoring there hasn’t been sustained pressure within a game from all lines. Spurts by Patrick Sharp’s group in Games 1 and 2 were the reason the Hawks won both and then Jonathan Toews’ line finally had a good game in Game 3, but they haven’t completely put it together.

“It's going to be tough to keep things going like that,” Toews explained. “It's the type of team whenever you throw something at them, they're going to try and take that momentum away and come right back at you. So it's really tough. As four lines, we've talked to each other saying that we really want [when] one line gets a great shift, it's always a great thing that the next shift goes out and follows that lead.”

It didn’t happen in the third period in Game 3. After Kane gave the Hawks their first lead, the next shift went the other way and the puck ended up in back of the Hawks net. After that score it was the Flyers who grabbed the momentum which continued for the rest of the period.

Notes
  • Joel Quenneville was asked the status of Andrew Ladd and if some lineup changes might occur after the Hawks first loss in eight games.“It is just one loss,” Quenneville said. “And at the same time we said at the top of the series that Laddy [Ladd] is day-to-day. We expect him to play over the course of the Series. When he's ready to play, he'll play.”
  • Dustin Byfuglien has had some words with the referees after getting called for two penalties in Game 3. One came on an accidental breaking of Chris Pronger’s stick and the other at the end of the first period during a scrum. So what does he say to the refs?“I yell at them a little bit,” Byfuglien joked.

    And their response?

    “Sit down before you get more.”
  • Chris Pronger did not pick up the puck at the end of Game 3. One of his teammates did. Here is his exchange with the media on Thursday.Q: How come you didn’t pick up the puck?

    Pronger: You mean steal it? I heard that term “steal” a couple of times. I didn’t know the winning team was allowed to keep the puck. Is that a rule? Can you look in the rulebook for me?

    Q: One of the other guys picked it up. Was it decided in advance?

    Pronger: No, it wasn’t in front of me like the other one. I don’t know if you know this but I picked up Game 1 too. You didn’t notice that did you?
  • Pronger said he doesn’t grow a playoff beard because it’s “too itchy”. “Tried it once. Didn’t work out,” he said.
  • Since 2000, the Hawks are the 6th team to take a 2-0 series lead in the finals. All six have lost Game 3.