Blackhawks

Blackhawks’ power play struggling to capitalize on opportunities

Blackhawks’ power play struggling to capitalize on opportunities

CALGARY – Everything has its ebbs and flows in a hockey season.

For a while earlier this season the Blackhawks’ penalty kill was a great source of rancor. That’s gotten much better. Now it’s the power play, which was cashing in on a good clip through the early games has gone quiet.

Over their last seven games the Blackhawks have scored just two power-play goals on 23 opportunities. Through their first 10 games they scored 10 power-play goals on 39 chances. The culprits that have stymied the Blackhawks during past power-play woes seem to be getting them again now: more passing than shooting and not enough second-chance opportunities.

As Patrick Kane pointed out, there are a few times the Blackhawks scored goals soon after power plays ended. Nevertheless, the advantage has been quieter.

“You look at [Marian] Hossa’s goal against Montreal, I think that was a second or two after the power play was over. I know [Artemi] Panarin’s was the same in overtime in St. Louis. You had a couple of goals, maybe it changes things the way you look at it,” Kane said. “We’ve had some looks, had some chances. I still think it comes down to getting the shots through. We’ve been doing a good job at that but we haven’t been recovering the next shot. It seems like we get the first shot and it’s one and done down the ice and breaking out again. So that’s a little frustrating.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

The Blackhawks went 0-for-2 against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night. That doesn’t sound so bad on its own, but for 67 seconds of that the Blackhawks were on a 5-on-3. Not only did it come up empty, but it generated little to nothing.

“We’ve missed a couple of opportunities on 5-on-3s,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “As a group, it’s like the penalty kill. You’ll have some hot and ordinary or good moments. We’ve had zone time. We’re looking for a better look instead of shooting it right now when it’s not going in, and improvising off shots.”

There are always parts of a game that are hit and miss at various times of the season. Right now the Blackhawks’ isn’t hitting but getting back to what worked earlier this season should change that.

“I think teams are playing us hard, playing us well. We have to continue to generate opportunities, get pucks around the net and opportunities for the guys who are going there. Whether that’s us shooting from the point or really whatever it is, try to keep getting pucks there,” Brent Seabrook said. “Nowadays, everyone knows what you’re doing and they’ve watched enough video on you. You have to try to score some ugly goals and bang something in.”

David Ayres joins Scott Foster in making emergency backup goalie history

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USA TODAY

David Ayres joins Scott Foster in making emergency backup goalie history

David Ayres is a 42-year old Zamboni driver and as of Saturday night, he is a man who has won a game as a netminder in the NHL. Ayres is the emergency backup goalie (EBUG) for the Carolina Hurricanes, who are currently locked in a tight playoff race in the Eastern Conference. On Saturday, Ayres was thrust into action when Carolina suffered injuries to both starting goalie James Reimer and backup goalie Petr Mrazek. This, of course, made us think back to Chicago's favorite EBUG, Scott Foster.

Foster, an accountant, became a household name when he donned the No. 90 EBUG jersey when he debuted for the Blackhawks in 2018. Chicago was down a goalie when starting goalie Collin Delia—who was filling in for an injured Corey Crawford—went down early. This led to Foster making his unlikely, seven-save debut. He was the first EBUG in NHL history to actually make a save and the fact that Foster was a perfect 7-for-7 in his time on the ice made the story even sweeter.

On Saturday, Ayres didn't maintain a perfect 1.000 save percentage like Foster but he did make some history of his own. Ayres was rattled at first, giving up two goals on the first two shots he faced but he did enough down the stretch to help the Hurricanes hold on to a quite important 6-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. With the win, Ayres is the first EBUG in league history to net a win, as Delia was credited with the win in Foster's debut in 2018.

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

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Rockford IceHogs matchup with Milwaukee Admirals produces the rare goalie fight

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Rockford IceHogs matchup with Milwaukee Admirals produces the rare goalie fight

On Saturday night the Rockford IceHogs fell 7-2 to the Milwaukee Admirals but fans still went home happy as they got see one of the rarest occurrences in the sport of hockey, the always intriguing goalie fight:

With Rockford trailing 6-2, IceHogs goalie Matt Tomkins—who gave up the six goals on 21 shots—and Admirals goalie decided to drop the gloves and engage in some good 'ol fashioned fisticuffs, the first scrap of the year for Tomkins. 

We'll leave it up to you to decide who won the fight but the Admirals certainly won the game in convincing fashion, with Milwaukee center Yakov Trenin netting a hat trick in the 7-2 win. But despite taking the tough loss, it was nice to see the IceHogs (and IndyFuel) social media having some fun with what was ultimately a very entertaining game.

The Rockford IceHogs are back in action against the Chicago Wolves on Sunday at 3 pm, with both teams locked in a tight battle for the fourth playoff spot in the Central division. 

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.