Skip to content

Are the Blackhawks becoming a (gasp)…trap team?

Feb 10, 2012, 6:04 PM EDT

Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp AP

Interesting note from Adam Jahns of the Sun-Times about Chicago’s’ lengthy film-and-chalkboard session prior to tonight’s game:

The focus was positioning at both ends of the rink.

There are plenty of things to address, whether it’s not having a third player high in the offensive zone, a third caught down low in the defensive zone or how their defensemen react when opponents pinch their blue line.

“We probably let it slide a little when we were scoring many goals and weren’t looking to prevent them at a regular rate,” Quenneville said. “Especially on the road, we want to play tight, and we want to be responsible. An awareness of our positioning is what we’re talking about.”

On Wednesday, it was accompanied by more chalkboard instruction as the Hawks worked in the neutral zone with a variation of the 1-2-2 trap for their game against the San Jose Sharks on Friday.

Chicago ranks 26th in goals-allowed per game (2.96) and, during its current six-game winless streak, has lost games by scores of 5-2 (twice) and 8-4. As such, it’s not a huge surprise they’d dabble in trapping — it is a fairly effective way to curtail opponent’s scoring chances — but still a shock given the ‘Hawks are one of the NHL’s most offensively-gifted teams.

Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews are top-15 scorers in the league while Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane are close to a point-a-game clip and hey, let’s be honest — part of Chicago’s identity is that they’re a fun, free-wheeling team.

But the ‘Hawks know that for all their offense, they’re not going anywhere unless they play better defense.

“We did a little more instructional stuff, working to get out of this,” Sharp said. “You want to make it tough for the other team to skate 200 feet with the puck.”

Latest Posts
  1. Here’s who’s left after Day 1 of free agency

    Jul 2, 2015, 12:43 AM EDT

    st.louis Getty Images

    Some interesting players still need deals.

  2. PHT’s 2015 free agent frenzy tracker

    Jul 1, 2015, 11:15 PM EDT

    Mike Green Getty Images

    All the signings from what promises to be a busy day.

  3. Habs sign Barberio to a one-year, two-way deal

    Jul 1, 2015, 6:45 PM EDT

    Mark Barberio Mark Barberio

    The contract pays the 25-year-old $600,000.

  4. Columbus character: Blue Jackets ink Gregory Campbell

    Jul 1, 2015, 6:34 PM EDT

    Gregory Campbell AP

    It’s reportedly two-years, $3 million.

  5. Report: Brassard should be ready for training camp after wrist surgery

    Jul 1, 2015, 6:16 PM EDT

    Derick Brassard AP

    The Rangers were a banged-up group in the playoffs.

  6. Preds trade goalie Hellberg to Rangers

    Jul 1, 2015, 6:09 PM EDT

    Nashville Predators v Los Angeles Kings Getty Images

    Was the first netminder taken at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

  7. Kessel trade shows Leafs are trying to ‘build this thing the right way’

    Jul 1, 2015, 4:53 PM EDT

    Official Announcement Of Mike Babcock As Toronto Maple Leafs Head Coach Getty Images

    “We are here to build a team that is capable of winning a Stanley Cup. There are no shortcuts to go around doing that.”

  8. B’s re-sign Spooner: two years, $1.9 million

    Jul 1, 2015, 4:06 PM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Winnipeg Jets Getty Images

    23-year-old had 18 points in 29 games last year.

  9. Green signs with Red Wings — 3 years, $18 million

    Jul 1, 2015, 4:05 PM EDT

    Mike Green Getty Images

    Moves on from Washington, the team that drafted him in 2004.

  10. ‘It’s hard to find players like Phil Kessel’

    Jul 1, 2015, 3:38 PM EDT

    Phil Kessel Getty Images

    Penguins GM considers his new winger in the same class as Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos.

  11. After Preds buyout, Stalberg signs one-year, $1.1M deal with Rangers

    Jul 1, 2015, 3:19 PM EDT

    Viktor Stalberg #25 of the Nashville Predators warms up prior to a game against the Winnipeg Jets at Bridgestone Arena on October 24, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee.
(October 23, 2013 - Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    29-year-old forward will look to get his career back on track.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. M. Richards (2390)
  2. D. Hamilton (2380)
  3. C. Talbot (1985)
  4. S. Gagner (1921)
  5. R. O'Reilly (1866)
  1. E. Etem (1730)
  2. A. Niemi (1730)
  3. R. Lehner (1651)
  4. M. Lucic (1563)
  5. C. Pronger (1534)