How the Blackhawks resurrected their power play against the Sharks


One of the biggest reasons the Blackhawks face the insurmountable task of being near perfect down the stretch to make the playoffs was how cold they had gotten on the power play.

After scoring three power-play goals out of four opportunities in their 6-5 loss in St. Louis on Feb. 25, the Hawks went 1-for-20 in their next six games, including 0-for-14 in their previous five ahead of Wednesday night's game. 

Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton had a laundry list of ways for the team to improve their power play. 

"There's a bunch of different things I feel like we need to do better on the power play," Colliton said following Wednesday's morning skate. "Net presence is one of them. Willingness to shoot the puck. Movement, both puck movement and skating, to change the lines. 

"At times, we're too static, too stuck in our spots, too many touches on the puck before we move it. Our execution with our passing — you've got to make two, three, four passes in a row to break pressure sometimes, and we haven't done that. There's a long list of things we need to do better."

The Blackhawks seemed to get Colliton's message as they flipped the script and were incredibly effective on the man advantage, going 2-for-3 against the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday, helping them to a 6-2 victory. 

First, Duncan Keith fired a shot from the blue line after getting the puck back from Jonathan Toews to score just four seconds into Chicago's first power play of the game at 4:33 of the second period to tie it 1-1.

Then, Patrick Kane scored late in the second for the Hawks' second power-play goal of the contest, crashing the net and pushing in an Alex DeBrincat feed to give Chicago a 2-1 lead. 

"Great shot by Duncs and great screen by Kirby on the first one and you know, we tried to just play off instinct on the breakouts tonight, even though we kind of went to the drop there on my goal," Kane said of the Hawks' power play on Wednesday. "Nice to come in with speed, go to the net and that play’s been there for us a couple times this year, just haven’t really connected on it. Good play by Brinks to create some space and drive back post and he put it right on my tape. 

"Just had to push it in. It’s nice to get that going, you know? I think that’s a huge part of the game. You look after the second period we’re up 3-1 and we have two power play goals. That’s something we’ve been missing all year but it was good tonight."

Colliton was equally pleased with the team's man advantage play against the Sharks. 

"Much better tempo," he said after the game of the power play. "Things were happening quicker, quick support, we moved the puck quicker. Shooting mentality. . . obviously the first goal, we just were willing to shoot the puck and we had a screen and that helps. 

"Then, I thought the breakout, not everyone was successful but just a much quicker tempo and speed and obviously we scored off it and hopefully we can build some confidence and momentum from what they did." 

Time will tell if the Blackhawks can keep the power play hot to close out the season.

"I think we’re a pretty good 5-on-5 team in zone, so sometimes you want to get to your setups, you don't want to think too much out there," Kane said. "The biggest thing is we’ve got a lot of good, highly-skilled, heavily-aware players on the ice that can make plays off instinct. I think if we just focus on that and almost have that 5-on-5 mentality where we’re making plays and just playing off instinct, I think we’ll be better off.

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.

Contact Us