Hawks power play coming up empty
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St. Louis Blues goalie Ty Conklin, right, and Chicago Blackhawks' Marian Hossa watch the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Chicago, Wednesday, April 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
The power play, so good for most of the season, has hit a dry spell when it's needed the most.
The Hawks were 0-for-4 in Wednesday's win over the Blues, including well over a minute of 5-on-3 in the first period. The Hawks' power play is now 0-for-11 in the last three games and 1-for-17 in the last five.
"We were close to scoring (Tuesday at Montreal), but we didn't," Marian Hossa said. "We want to make sure we help get the momentum on the power play. That's really important. One of the things we have to do to be successful is driving to the net. We tried to play too much outside."
Getting Patrick Sharp back should help once he gets his timing down again.
"The power play, recently, we haven't had a lot of chances on it, but we're getting some opportunities even though the puck isn't going in for us," coach Joel Quenneville said.
Maybe seeing Detroit this weekend will help. The Hawks are 6-for-15 on the power play in four games against the Red Wings this season.
Shouldering the load:
With Troy Brouwer out indefinitely with a shoulder injury, there's even more pressure on Bryan Bickell to be a physical presence at wing.
Bickell is also having a hard time putting the puck in the net along with most of his teammates in secondary scoring roles.
"We had times where we couldn't keep the puck out of the net," Bickell said. "When we were on the eight-game winning streak, we were filling the net. The lines have been changing here and there. We just need the second and third lines to get going. We can't rely on Jonathan (Toews) and (Patrick) Kane all the time.
"For me, I just have to keep on working hard. The bounces haven't been going by my way, but I hope they do soon."
In or out?
It will be interesting to see if Joel Quenneville puts struggling Swedish center Marcus Kruger back in the lineup this weekend.
Kruger sat out Wednesday's win over the Blues after playing only seven minutes at Montreal the night before.
"He's going to be a quality player, but he needs some time to adjust," Marian Hossa said. "He came into the NHL at a time when everything is getting faster and quicker."
The Hawks are hurting at center with Dave Bolland sidelined by a concussion and Michael Frolik playing out of position in the middle.
"(Frolik) is not your typical centerman," Hossa said. "He's more left or right wing, but he's done a decent job. Obviously, he'd like to be on that scoreboard more often. He's had some good chances, but just couldn't put the puck in. He's got a lot of potential."
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