Saturday, October 22, 2011
Blackhawks fail to score in shootout again
By Jesse Rogers
CHICAGO -- It’s a very small sample size, but the Chicago Blackhawks are off to a bad start in shootouts. They’re 0-2 in such affairs after losing to the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 on Saturday. They haven’t dented the back of the net even once in two games.
“We’re 0-for-6 [in attempts] this year,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “It’s frustrating. I don’t like our approach. We have to do something different.”
Quenneville tried something different. He chose Viktor Stalberg to lead off. He’s not one of the shootout mainstays, but was 2-for-2 a season ago. He went 3-for-3 in a recent practice, winning a team-wide shootout drill.
“I think I had him where I wanted to,” Stalberg said. “I had a net to put it in but the puck kind of rolled off my stick. It’s going to happen sometimes. I thought I had him beat, but it rolled off unfortunately.”
It’s hard to blame Stalberg when Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane also missed on Saturday and are each 0-for-2 on the young season.
“I’ve got to be better at [the shootout], but you’re obviously not going to [win] if you go 0-for-3 and you give three of their best shooters a chance,” Kane said. “It’s something we need to be better at, we want to be better at.”
The Hawks were not assessed a penalty in the game. They’ve gone to the penalty box just 10 times in the last five games. Colorado’s top-ranked power play had just two chances in back-to-back games against the Hawks.
Patrick Sharp played in his 500th career game and collected his team-high fifth assist.
Both teams had long stretches without a shot on goal in the first period. Colorado went 10 minutes while the Hawks played the final 13:35 of that frame without a shot on net.
The Hawks have Sunday off before returning to practice on Monday.