If youre going to take a lot of penalties, you better stop the opposing power play. And if you get those power-play chances yourself, you better take advantage of them.
The Blackhawks could do neither on Sunday night.
Vancouver scored five power-play goals, as many as the Blackhawks have all this season, and the Blackhawks struggled with both special teams in a 6-2 loss at the United Center. It was a forgettable night for the Blackhawks, who hadnt lost a game at home in regulation until this one.
The Blackhawks went 0 for 5 on their power play while letting the Canucks riddle their penalty kill for five goals. But as Jonathan Toews said, it was just a bad game in every way.
The power play, as usual as of late, wasnt very good. The penalty kill went for a hike today, too. But it went beyond that, he said. We didnt play a good game all around. If those things go better for us maybe we can keep it a tighter game and find a way to make a game of it the way we have some of these past games where we havent played our best game and we hang in there. But we didnt give ourselves a chance at all.
Indeed, for all their pregame talk about how much they looked forward to playing the Canucks, the Blackhawks didnt show it on the ice. They came out sluggish and Vancouver took advantage from the start. The Canucks were more determined, stronger and obviously ready to take advantage of their opportunities. The Blackhawks had five power plays but once again couldnt muster a goal on it.
Tonight was disappointing across the board, coach Joel Quenneville said. Some of our execution in both areas was very poor. Give them credit for making nice plays on the power play. But they were results of what we did on several of them. We had some chances around the net (on the power play). I thought we werent terrible there but were looking for production at the end of the night.
The Blackhawks penalty kill had buoyed the team on some of those nights the power play didnt; entering Sunday night, it had nullified 34 of 38 opponent power plays. But against Vancouver it disappeared, giving up one more goal (five) than they had in their previous 13 games combined (four).
A couple of those goals were just about trying to be in the shooting lane and blocking shots, said defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson. Its something weve talked about, too. We just have to be better with stick positioning there so they cant do those cross-ice passes. It was pretty much impossible for (Corey Crawford) to stop those kinds of pucks.
Still, the Blackhawks had a bit of a chance in the second period after Marcus Kruger scored to make it 3-2. But just 43 seconds later the Canucks snuffed out that momentum with Jannik Hansens goal, an even-strength effort.
Thats something we cant allow, Hjalmarsson said. After that, the game was pretty much over. That was obviously a huge goal we let in.
The Blackhawks have done well this first month because theyve stayed in just about every game, giving themselves a chance to collect points each time. That, as well as their all-around game, was missing on Sunday.
We didnt give ourselves a chance at all, Toews said. We shouldve been expecting an effort like that from them. Im not sure why we took them lightly. We played well and did some good things all week. But we didnt show much of that tonight.
Hawks don camo jerseys
The Blackhawks will wear camouflage jerseys during warm-ups on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, before they host the Calgary Flames at the United Center. The jerseys will be autographed by the player that wears them and then will be auctioned online at www.chicagoblackhawks.com until 9 p.m. on Nov. 17. All proceeds will benefit the USO of Illinois.