Power-play struggles don't slow Hawks
April, 15, 2013
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com
CHICAGO -- The questions Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews answered about the team's power play after games last season aren't that much different than the ones he's gotten this season.
The only difference now is the Blackhawks are winning despite their power-play struggles.
The Blackhawks went their ninth consecutive game Monday without a power-play goal as they were shut out on four chances in their 5-2 win over the Dallas Stars. Despite their power-play woes, which have included 19 consecutive scoreless power plays, they have gone 8-0-1 during the stretch.
Last season, the Blackhawks ranked 26th in the league with a 15.2 power-play percentage (42 goals on 277 opportunities) and were a sixth seed in the Western Conference. This season, they rank 21st with a 15.4 percentage (21 goals on 136 opportunities) and are in first place.
"It's not an easy thing," Toews said. "We were there last year and here we are again talking about it again this year. We'll stay positive. We'll stay with it.
"There's some things that have come up in our game that seem to be a problem and maybe has hindered us a little bit and our team as we're going through every game. We'll find a way to improve and find a solution. That's what we're going to do. We're going to keep getting better at it. We know if we focus on what we need to do and how we work together as a unit, eventually those results will come."
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville tried nearly everything to get the power play going on Monday. He used 16 different players on the four power plays.
Like Toews, Quenneville has remained optimistic the power play will improve.
"I keep saying we're looking for some production," Quenneville said. "Tried some different units, tried some different looks, some different options. We'll keep exploring it until it clicks. We expect it to click, but certainly the nice thing is it doesn't disrupt the game."