Last week we brought you the plight of Chicago RW Jamal Mayers, a career journeyman/fighter that Hockey Hall of Fame writer Al Strachan called the NHL’s most useless player.
Expectedly, Mayers took offense to Strachan’s claim…by ripping him on Twitter.
Unexpectedly, Mayers proved Strachan wrong…by igniting Chicago’s anemic power play.
Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Mayers has been on the ice for every ‘Hawks power-play goal — three in the last four games — since moving to the first unit against Anaheim last Sunday.
That’s a big deal, because prior to scoring against the Ducks, Chicago was 0-for-39 with the man advantage.
Yeah. Scoreless in 39 attempts. Pretty bad.
Following the Ducks game, Mayers registered a PP assist in a 2-1 win over Ottawa and provided a great screen on Patrick Sharp’s PP tally in yesterday’s 2-1 win over Detroit. The unlikely promotion to the first unit — Mayers averages all of nine power-play seconds per game this year — make ‘Hawks head coach Joel Quenneville look like a genius.
‘‘That’s the type of goal we have to score,’’ Quenneville said of Mayers’ screen. ‘‘You don’t want to look for pretty plays. Let’s get pucks and traffic and get a nice bounce here or there.’’
Mayers humbly explained how he revived Chicago’s flatlined PP.
‘‘If I can go in there, get in front of the net, create some havoc, score some goals and win the games, that’s what I want to do,’’ he said.