Hawks killing off power plays one at a time
May, 16, 2013
By Scott Powers
CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook doesn’t look at the total number of power plays he and his teammates have killed in the playoffs as a whole number.
For Seabrook, each kill is its own entity, and he believes that’s the reason why they’ve been able to go a perfect 20-for-20 on the penalty kill through six playoff games, including Wednesday’s 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series.
“We’re not really focused on the past,” Seabrook said. “We’re not really focused on how well the penalty kill has been doing. We’re just focused on that particular penalty kill.
“Trying to get pucks out. Our forwards are doing a great job of fronting pucks, not giving their D-men good shots. I think it’s a real team effort. All five guys on the ice, including the goaltender, on a kill is [instrumental.] I thought our guys did a good job again tonight.”
The Blackhawks gave the Red Wings three chances on the power play on Wednesday, and the Red Wings couldn’t take advantage of any of them, managing just three shots on net. On one of the power plays, the Blackhawks were able to clear the puck five times.
Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford broke down why they’ve had so much success on the penalty kill.
“We’re getting up ice,” Crawford said. “We’re pressuring the other team up ice, making it difficult to get in our zone. When they do, we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping them to the outside, not letting the team get passes and pucks through our box. Keeping everything to the boards to the outside and blocking shots and clearing rebounds. It’s just an effort by everyone right now on the PK.”
The Blackhawks’ penalty-kill performance Wednesday was what coach Joel Quenneville has gotten accustomed to seeing this season.
“Our PK deserves credit from the regular season and the first round and here tonight,” Quenneville said. “The consistency of what they’re up to, that’s an ongoing challenge. It’s going to be a work in progress. Game in, game out, we’re going to get challenged with some different looks and some real good patience by them. I still thought we did some good things be it up ice, on entries, taking away what they’re looking to do, but the end of the day they still had some real good looks. At the end, [Crawford] leads the charge.”