It should be no surprise that the Chicago Blackhawks have, at least on paper, an intimidating top power-play unit given the number of offensive weapons they have at their disposal. There’s probably a few general managers out there that would love to trade their top unit for the Blackhawks’ second group though.
It helps that Chicago added Brad Richards over the summer as he can man the point on the second power-play unit.
“I’ve played it pretty much 95 percent of my career,” Richards told CSN Chicago.
He’ll likely be joined by Marian Hossa, Bryan Bickell, Brandon Saad and Brent Seabrook. That group makes Patrick Kane very optimistic about their special teams.
“You look at our units and you could say, ‘Which are the first and second (units)?’” Kane said. “When you have two good units, it picks up the power-play numbers and generates a lot more opportunities to score. With him on the point, he’s another added weapon. I’ve seen him a bunch over his career snap it from the point or make good passes to guys with open nets.”
It’s doubtful that many people will look at the Blackhawks’ second power-play unit and feel that it’s just as good as the top group, which includes Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Sharp, but Kane’s point about the advantage of depth is well-taken.
The question now is if this lineup will be as good in practice as it looks on paper. The Blackhawks haven’t been able to score a power-play goal thus far, but that has to be taken with a grain of salt given that it’s still the preseason. They had a 19.5% success rate with the man advantage in 2013-14.