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Know Thy Enemy: Blackhawks Power Play Preview

The Blackhawks boast a ton of top-end offensive talent, but their power play strategy seems to be more get-it-to-the-net-and-see-what-happens, as opposed to let-the-best-players-dangle-and-snipe-at-will.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Much like the Ducks, the Chicago Blackhawks' power play did not meet expectation during the regular season, finishing 20th in the league at 17.6%. Also like the Ducks, the Hawks have picked it up since Game 82, converting on 20.0% of their opportunities in the playoffs, good for 5th overall and 2nd (after the Ducks) among remaining teams.

Who's Who?

The Hawks' top power play unit consists of Duncan Keith and four forwards. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are always on that first unit, and the other two spots go to two of Marian Hossa, Andrew Shaw, and Patrick Sharp. Keith takes the top of the umbrella with either Sharp or Hossa joining him near the blue line, Kane hangs out around the right circle, Shaw goes straight to the net, and Toews usually isn't too far from the blue paint either.

The second unit also employs only one defenseman (Brent Seabrook), and aside from whoever is the odd man out of the top unit (Hossa, Sharp, or Shaw), it also includes Brad Richards, Brandon Saad, and Kris Versteeg.

Let's Watch Some Goals

Kane does a lot of the puck handling on the Hawks' power play, and this is the kind of thing that happens all the time. The defense respects his skill level enough to stay backed off, which gives him time to move the puck to Toews, who makes a simple play to get the puck on net.

Another relatively simply play. Kane makes a smart pass back to Sharp, who hammers it from above the circles. Toews gets a piece of it in front of the crease.

Toews simply throws this one into the slot, and eventually Shaw is able to battle it past Devan Dunbyk. Simple stuff, but effective.

Against the Ducks

Here's some good news, but actually more like meaningless news: The Hawks haven't scored a power play goal against the Ducks since December 2013.