When you lose four of five games and struggle to get consistent scoring, it forces you to think about changing things up. The Blackhawks did that on Thursday by shuffling the line combinations, and it worked as they defeated the Buffalo Sabres 5-4 in a shootout.
What about the power play though? In the past six games, the Blackhawks are 4-for-23 on the man advantage for a conversion rate of 17.4 percent. Not bad, but below their season average of 21.3.
On Thursday, the Blackhawks went 0-for-5 and allowed their third shorthanded goal in six games. Fortunately for the them, it didn't prevent the team from picking up two points. And despite this weird stretch, Jeremy Colliton has no plans to change up the units because it's worked so well for them since December.
"Not right now, anyway," Colliton said. "I think they’ve earned the right to have a little bit of rope. We had some looks. The last few games we created some opportunities that haven’t gone in the net or maybe we’ve scored with lesser chances. When things are really going well, that’s going to happen. We don’t want to give up shorthanded goals. That’s a thing we have to snuff out.
"But it’s important we don’t start pressing and get frustrated. Things will deteriorate quickly if we put too much pressure on ourselves to come through every time. But they have a high standard for themselves and I’m pretty sure they’re going to score."
The Blackhawks are still getting their looks. They've been on the power play for 43:42 total minutes over the past six games, and have generated 45 shots on goal and 39 scoring chances, according to naturalstattrick.com. The goals just haven't followed.
Sometimes when things aren't clicking as well as they used to there could be a tendency to look for the perfect pass, but most of the time the answer is to simply get back to the basics. The Blackhawks have no concerns that this trend will become a larger issue.
"We've just got to keep it a little more simple," Dylan Strome said. "We have so much talent on that unit that I think sometimes we try to make the extra play or whatever it is. But we're still confident. ... The shots are there, we've just got to execute. We've got to capitalize and bear down. We had a couple good chances in front that we didn't score on and obviously we could've put that game away a couple times. But I think we'll get back to the way we were and it should be good."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.