Feb 3, 2014, 9:57 AM EDT
The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks don’t have a lot of holes, but their inability to kill penalties has been a major one. They rank in the bottom five of the league in that regard, which is a startling decline from the shortened campaign when they were third with an 87.2% success rate.
They might have turned a corner though as they’ve shut the door the last 23 times they had to kill off a power play. Although if you ask Chicago coach Joel Quenneville, this turnaround has been a long time in the making.
“I thought it was trending (the right way) since we got off to that terrible start for a number of games,” Quenneville told CSN Chicago. “We had some games where the numbers didn’t reflect that we were doing the right things.”
Part of the reason they struggled out of the gate was because they traded away Michael Frolik, who was a big part of their penalty kill last season. Marcus Kruger added that the penalty-kill units weren’t comfortable and the players didn’t trust each other initially. That’s changed as the campaign’s progressed.
Of course, the Blackhawks recent success in this category has been largely wasted due to their 1-2-3 run. They’ll try to shake off their recent slump when they face the Los Angeles Kings tonight.
- ‘Home-grown talent’ a staple of Blackhawks and Lightning 1
- A holdover from the ‘dark days,’ does Sharp have a future in Chicago? 22
- Bishop: ‘Taller guys…can be just as athletic as the smaller guys’ 6
- Tire pump? Yzerman says Toews is ‘bigger, stronger, better’ than he was 16
- Devils officially announce John Hynes, becomes youngest NHL coach 7
- PHT arrives in Tampa, gets soaked (oh, and today is Media Day) 5
- Ex-Leafs goalie Pogge eyeing North American return 5
- Poll: Should the Ducks fire Boudreau? 86
- Zuccarello (brain contusion, skull fracture) was unable to speak after injury 28
- Overtime format highlights competition committee meeting agenda 16
- ‘Hawks rise to occasion in Game 7, head to SCF for third time in six years (95)
- Poll: Should the Ducks fire Boudreau? (86)
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers (76)
- Is it fair to hold cap teams to old dynasty standards? (73)
- Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win (65)