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updated: 1/10/2013 11:33 PM

Hawks must amp up power play

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  • Patrick Kane had only 4 goals and 12 points on the Hawks' woeful power play last season. During the extended off-season caused by the NHL lockout, Kane studied tape with the intent of improving his power-play production.

       Patrick Kane had only 4 goals and 12 points on the Hawks' woeful power play last season. During the extended off-season caused by the NHL lockout, Kane studied tape with the intent of improving his power-play production.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
 

It's no secret the Blackhawks' power play was dreadful last season.

The power play was so bad it forced coach Joel Quenneville to shake up his staff, with Mike Haviland being relieved of his duties and Jamie Kompon, a power-play specialist, hired away from Los Angeles.

Patrick Kane was part of the problem -- and he knows it.

Kane had only 4 goals and 12 points on the power play and spent a good portion of the off-season watching tape of what went wrong.

"Even just looking at a couple years ago when we won the Stanley Cup, my point production was pretty much the same as it was last year 5-on-5, but the power play was 20 more points," Kane said. "It's a huge part of our offense and last year, obviously, it wasn't very good. It's probably one of the reasons why we didn't do too well throughout our season."

Kane thinks better movement will be a key to a turnaround.

"It's something we're going to have to fix," Kane said. "One of the biggest things is we didn't have a guy to stand in front of the net, whereas a couple years ago we had (Troy) Brouwer and (Dustin) Byfuglien. You also have to take responsibility yourself. Watching tape you can really see a couple years ago how we moved. We were always moving our feet; all five guys were always moving.

"As long as every player can stay dangerous, that's the biggest thing for the power play. We have enough talent where plays will be made."

Kane has returned from Switzerland, where he played 20 games for EHC Biel, scoring 13 goals and 23 points.

He hopes the experience will give him a jump on starting the NHL season next week.

"I've always prided myself on getting off to a quick start personally," Kane said. "I think playing (overseas) was big for me. Before I left I played I think eight games in 10 days, at one point five in five nights.

"It was really good for my conditioning and skating. I know the games will be different over here, but I'm happy I did it. It felt it was a really good experience and hopefully it will help get me started the right way."

Kane said he would make the same decision again to go play in Europe.

"I felt like I was just kind of waiting around, waiting for hockey to start," Kane said. "I realized when I was playing my best was when I was playing a lot of hockey, so I figured I might as well go over there and try to get a head start to the season so that when the season did start back up I might have an advantage."

Kane admitted there was a time he thought there might not be a season.

"When you're hearing about deadlines and different things like talks are good, talks are bad, it opens your eyes a little bit that maybe there won't be a season," he said.

"But when you really look at the big picture and how devastating it would have been to lose a full NHL season, you knew that a deal was going to get done when the time came. I had all the confidence in the world in the PA and even the owners and (Commissioner Gary) Bettman that a deal would get done."

Kane made it clear he would prefer to play right wing and not center.

"I'm sure that's something we'll talk about," he said. "I don't know where they want me to play once the season starts. I played right wing for 20 games in Switzerland so I'm pretty comfortable there."

tsassone@dailyherald.com

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