Blackhawks

Scary stuff: Terrifying stats from Blackhawks' power play struggles

Scary stuff: Terrifying stats from Blackhawks' power play struggles

When a team has lost five of six games there are going to be plenty of stats that point to why the team is struggling.

Right now for the Blackhawks, it's the power play that is standing out as a weak spot on the team. Saturday's 6-3 loss to the Avalanche featured five power plays for the Blackhawks and the Hawks failed to score on any of them.

The night before the Blackhawks went 0-6 with the man advantage against Nashville in another loss. The game before that the Blackhawks went 0-3 on the power play in a loss at Vegas.

Noticing a trend?

The Hawks scored their first power play in a 4-2 win against Arizona before that, but counting the second power play in that one, the Blackhawks have now failed to score on their last 15 power plays. Dating back to the overtime loss to Edmonton on Oct. 19, the Blackhawks are 1-21 on power plays in the last five games.

Not only are the numbers bad, but the teams they struggled against aren't noted for the penalty kill. Edmonton has the second-lowest penalty kill percentage in the league. That's a team the Blackhawks failed to convert all five power plays against. Colorado entered tonight ranked 24th in the league in penalty kill.

Overall, the Blackhawks are ranked 29th in a 31-team league by converting power plays 12.7 percent of the time.

Spooky stuff.

Blackhawks 2013 Stanley Cup champion Michal Handzus to retire from professional hockey

michal_handzus_ap.jpg
AP

Blackhawks 2013 Stanley Cup champion Michal Handzus to retire from professional hockey

Michal Handzus, who helped the Blackhawks win a Stanley Cup in 2013 as the second-line center, is officially hanging up the skates.

The 41-year-old forward hasn't played in the NHL since the 2013-14 season but spent the last three years with Banska Bystrica HC 05 in Slovakia, where he was a part of the championship-winning team in 2016-17. He sat out the 2017-18 campaign and has decided to call it quits for good.

Handzus played with six teams in his first 13 NHL seasons, including eight games with the Blackhawks in 2006-07, before getting reacquired by Chicago in 2013 at the trade deadline for a fourth-round draft pick and it turned out to be one of the more underrated acquisitions in the league that year. He had one goal and five assists in 11 regular-season games, then accumulated 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 23 postseason contests and found himself in the center of all the big moments.

In Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Detroit Red Wings, with the Blackhawks trailing the series 3-2, Handzus scored a crucial goal on the road in the opening minute of the third period to tie it up at 2-2, a game the Blackhawks went on to win to force a Game 7 back in Chicago. (We all know what the final result was in that one).

In Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins, with the Blackhawks trailing the series again 2-1, Handzus set the tone early on the road by scoring the game's first goal shorthanded when he buried a feed from Brandon Saad before taking a hard spill into the boards in an eventual 6-5 victory:

And then of course in Game 6, Handzus was the extra attacker for the first of two goals scored 17 seconds apart in Boston as the Blackhawks captured their second Stanley Cup in four years:

It was the first Stanley Cup win of Handzus' career, so naturally, he was the first player to receive Lord Stanley from captain Jonathan Toews:

That's not all.

Handzus re-signed with the Blackhawks on a one-year deal for the 2013-14 season, which would be his last in the NHL, and gave Chicago this double-overtime goal in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final to keep the Blackhawks' hopes alive:

Handzus isn't the name who jumps out when you think of the three titles in six years run but he's a player that certainly made strong contributions in a Blackhawks sweater and delivered in key playoff moments.

Chris Chelios joins Pearl Jam on stage at Wrigley Field to honor Stan Mikita

stan_mikita_ap.jpg
AP

Chris Chelios joins Pearl Jam on stage at Wrigley Field to honor Stan Mikita

The city of Chicago lost a sports icon earlier this month when Stan Mikita died at the age of 78 after a long illness. He's the all-time leading scorer in Blackhawks history with 1,467 points, but perhaps more importantly made as much of an impact off the ice as he did on it.

Former Blackhawks defenseman and current team ambassador Chris Chelios joined Pearl Jam on stage at Wrigley Field on Monday night, holding up a red No. 21 Mikita sweater to pay tribute to a Chicago legend.

Lead vocalist Eddie Vedder even dedicated the song "Come Back" to Mikita and his family, with the help of thousands of fans who paid homage by holding up their cell phones:

A touching moment.