Blackhawks

Blackhawks have found magic on power play with Patrick Kane and Dominik Kubalik

Blackhawks have found magic on power play with Patrick Kane and Dominik Kubalik

The Blackhawks’ power-play struggles this season have been well-documented. 

One week ago, they hit rock bottom by slipping to dead last with a 13.8% success rate after going 0-for-17 during their five-game road swing in Western Canada. It played a major role in the Blackhawks picking up only two out of a possible 10 points on that trip. 

After trying just about every possible power-play combination to that point, head coach Jeremy Colliton experimented by positioning Dominik Kubalik in the right faceoff circle and moving Patrick Kane to the left on the first unit. And it's paid off.

In the past four games, the Blackhawks are 6-for-19 on the power play for a percentage of 31.6, which ranks No. 6 over that span. Kubalik has two of those goals while Kane has one and a couple of primary assists as well. 

After Thursday's 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in which the Blackhawks scored a season-high three power-play goals, Colliton was asked whether he regretted not putting Kubalik in that spot on the first unit sooner. In an honest admission, he didn't sugarcoat his answer.

"Yeah, and I wish we would've put Kaner on the other side earlier," Colliton told reporters. "We've tried it off and on throughout since I've been here, and we just haven't been able to get it to click with enough success for everyone to embrace it. But we've been able to here, and it's been a nice weapon for us."

No doubt the Blackhawks coaching staff discussed this possibility earlier in the season but were probably reluctant to make the switch because moving Kane out of his usual spot would have meant moving Alex DeBrincat out of his normal spot and then your two best power play weapons are playing out of their comfort zone.

But desperate times call for desperate measures, and the Blackhawks have finally found a formula that's given the power play some life.

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Blackhawks Rewind: Game 3 of 2010 Western Conference Semifinals

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AP

Blackhawks Rewind: Game 3 of 2010 Western Conference Semifinals

Dustin Byfuglien and the Blackhawks rode the momentum from Game 2's series-tying 4-2 victory at the United Center to have a decisive 5-2 road win in Game 3 and pull ahead in the series 2-1.

Saturday night at 7 p.m. central on NBC Sports Chicago you can re-watch the game where Byfuglien had a hat trick, Kris Versteeg had a first-period goal and Marian Hossa scored in the third.

Two of Byfuglien's three goals came from rebounds on the power play while he was in front of the net. The 2010 Stanley Cup champ was moved to forward and skated on the Hawks' top line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane after playing as a defenseman in Game 2.

Versteeg kicked off the scoring 5:19 into the contest and Hossa's goal came at 7:42 of the third to give the Hawks a 4-2 lead. Byfuglien completed his hat trick for the 5-2 final score with 6:02 remaining in regulation. 

Toews had three assists and Kane grabbed two. 

Antti Niemi finished the game with 31 saves and Roberto Luongo made 30 stops. 

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What Jonathan Toews is doing during the NHL pause

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USA Today

What Jonathan Toews is doing during the NHL pause

Aside from a video message for a 7-year-old fan played on NBC's the Today Show Thursday and news of his $100,000 donation to a COVID-19 response fund, we haven't heard from Jonathan Toews since before the NHL paused on March 12 due to concerns amid the spreading of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Blackhawks captain was a guest on Friday's episode of former Hawk John Scott's "Dropping the Gloves" podcast. 

Toews freely spoke on a variety of topics, one of which was how the NHL pause unfolded and how he's passing the time.

"Obviously with the pandemic, out of this whole situation, day-to-day it's kind of crazy," the three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Blackhawks told his former teammate. "At times I kind of pinch myself a little bit. It's only been a week and a bit that we've been kind of on lockdown and the game just stopped. 

"I think our last game was on a Wednesday at home. I can't remember who we played (6-2 win against the San Jose Sharks), but the next morning, woke up to a text and an email from the great Tony Ommen (Blackhawks Vice President of Team Services), as you know, telling us not to come to the rink. And it was just kind of a blindside because we thought the next step would be games without fans and we just kind of go from there and it just kind of got super serious real quick. 

RELATED — Jonathan Toews gives candid assessment of where the Blackhawks are at

"So honestly, I've just been laying around, recovering, doing some reading, making some phone calls, catching up with friends. I haven't had the chance to go home to Canada yet. I'm not sure if it's even too late for that, but I'm just kid of enjoying being at home. 

"I moved into a new condo here in Lincoln Park since Christmas and I think when you're as busy as we are during the year with the schedule that we have, we were gone pretty much all of January and February, I'm just kind of settling in and doing fun little things that have been on the back burner for quite a while. So that's about it."

RELATED — How coronavirus is impacting John Scott's family and what's ahead for the NHL

Scott also asked Toews about communicating with teammates during the unique situation.

"A lot of it has just been going over some of the stuff that's going on with [the NHLPA], getting updates, obviously chatting with the boys in the team chat and I think a lot of the guys have taken off and gone home, even the European guys too," Toews said. "So it's one of those situations, we don't know what's going to happen and I guess guys will just hang out at home and if we get the call everyone will come rushing back after that."

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

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.