Power plays and faceoffs. For Chicago coach Joel Quenneville, they’re the two areas he hopes his team can improve tomorrow in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden.
Fortunately, things can’t get much worse. In Game 3 — a 2-0 loss to the Bruins that put the ‘Hawks down 2-1 in the series — the Blackhawks went 0-for-5 with the man advantage (making it 20 straight power plays without a goal) and lost a shocking 40 of 56 faceoffs.
“It’s tough to get a clean entry (versus Boston),” said Quenneville.
“It starts losing the draw initially. That’s the area we have to get better. Hopefully, you don’t have to resort to the entry.”
Bruins center Patrice Bergeron won 24 of the 28 faceoffs he took Monday.
“He’s one of the top guys in the league,” said Quenneville. “Give him credit for having that night he had last night. I think we’re looking at ways that we can at least get it closer to a 50/50 chance for us on most draws.”
It’s not like the ‘Hawks don’t have a top guy of their own — captain Jonathan Toews won almost 60 percent of his faceoffs during the regular season; however, he only won eight of 19 last night.
Speaking of Toews, he doesn’t have a goal in his last 10 games.
“I think right now whether it’s him or our power play, offensively I think we’re all a little gun shy in that area,” said Quenneville.
“One thing with Johnny, you can always measure how he’s going to be competing, because game in, game out he leaves it out there. Offensively maybe pressing in that area.
“Certainly it would be nice to get some production and finish to show for it.”
PHT Morning Skate: Jagr doesn’t understand why Peyton Manning would retire after winning the Super Bowl
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.