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What The Heck Has Happened To The Chicago Blackhawks?

Written by OGB   
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 21:58

2011 Chicago Blackhawks OddsOne of the most storied franchises in the NHL’s illustrious sports betting history, the Chicago Blackhawks appear to still be feeling the effects of the Stanley Cup hangover, two seasons after breaking a near half-century curse. Currently owning the price per head worst power play in the league, the Blackhawks are making the so called ‘experts’ scratch their heads. On paper, this is a team that despite trading away many pieces of their lone championship squad should still be running the table in the Western Conference. Today for your bookie software pleasure, we’ll try to figure out why the Hawks are struggling.

Earlier this week, Chicago rival St. Louis hit the panic button on their season, by firing Head Coach Davis Payne and replacing him with former Stanley Cup winning coach Ken Hitchcock. The main reason the Blues evicted Payne, was because their special teams in particular their power play was a pain in the team’s success. Now, St. Louis is a team with the 29th power play, and Chicago owns the 30th ranked power play. Suggesting, if the Blackhawks continue to struggle, could we see Joel Quenneville get the axe soon too?

As we noted earlier, if you go through the Blackhawks roster, this is still a very deep team, despite giving up several marquee players in order to get under the salary cap. Captain Jonathan Toews and Assistant Captains Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith make up three fifths of the first power play unit, to go along with star winger Patrick Kane and defenseman Brent Seabrooke. Yet still, this talented first unit is struggling mightily. What gives?

According to Keith and Head Coach Quenneville, the team has tried several different fine tuning techniques to try and correct the power play. Nevertheless, as the old saying goes simplicity is the best way to fix anything. Meaning to say, the Blackhawks may be over thinking the problem, which in turn can cause the issue to continue rather then vanquish.

It should be noted, that while we criticize the Blackhawks for being terrible on the power play, the team is still one of the better ones in the entire league right now. Currently sitting third in the Western Conference, with 19 points on the season, Chicago overall in the standings is in a three way tie for sixth with Minnesota and Toronto.

If the NHL playoffs were to start today, the Blackhawks would open up against the youthful Edmonton Oilers.  As it stands right now, Edmonton ranks 14th in power play, which is 16 spots better then Chicago. The Oilers also rank fourth in penalty kill while Chicago ranks 21st. These statistics would indicate, that if the two teams played an opening round series, by all accounts the Blackhawks would be eliminated, thanks to poor special teams.

 
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