BOSTON — The Blackhawks’ power play continues to come under some serious scrutiny.
The Hawks are 0-for-6 in the first two games and lost momentum off the special team in Game 2, which they ultimately lost 2-1 in overtime.
“I know that both sides, they’re looking for their power play to get some production because there’s not a lot of high-quality chances 5-on-5,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “But at the same time we’ve got to look to, you know, maybe simplify it and play anything at the net, the second and third opportunities around there.
“The pretty plays aren’t there. If we think the pretty plays are there with power plays, they evaporate quickly.”
Defenseman Duncan Keith thinks you have to give the Bruins and their penalty killers some credit.
“They’ve played good on the penalty kill,” Keith said. “Obviously that’s a point, the power play, it’s an area that we’re trying to get better at. We did some good things. I think we had some really good chances there, that first power play especially.
“Sometimes it’s just a fine line between scoring and not scoring. I think the more times we can get pucks at the net and keeping it simple when things aren’t going well, I think the better off we’re going to be.”
Patrick Kane said you could feel the momentum shift after the Hawks failed on their second power play in Game 2.
“I think that’s one thing on the power play, if you’re not going to score, you always want to at least build momentum somehow by getting chances,” Kane said. “You see with special teams in this playoffs, you can either get a lot of momentum off a big kill or some momentum off a good power play or scoring a goal on the power play.
“Our penalty kill’s been great all year, to the point where we’ve won a lot of games because of it. It’s given us a lot of momentum. It would be nice to see the power play return that.”
Duncan Keith has played almost 81 minutes in the first two games of the series, with Niklas Hjalmarsson right behind at 69.
“I think as players we’ve gone through things like that before,” Keith said. “It’s just a lot about getting your rest. It’s not rocket science. You just get sleep, try to eat as best you can, do all those little things so you feel good and are ready to go.”
Hjalmarsson said the physical pounding he is taking is nothing new.
“I mean, I’m used to getting hit back there quite a lot,” Hjalmarsson said. “I know how to take a hit or two. I think for the most case, we might not be the most physical defense core in the league, but we’re trying to move the puck quick. Sometimes you have to take a good hit to deliver a pass. Just try to keep your head up and not to get hit too hard.”
Bruins vs. Kings:
Joel Quenneville said it was hard to gauge the differences between the Bruins and the Kings team the Hawks beat in the Western Conference finals.
“You’ve got certain guys that are more physical than others,” Quenneville said. “I think we’ve got to be harder to play against than we were (Saturday) night.
“L.A. is a physical team. Boston, they’re a big team. At the same time we can’t get distracted knowing if we get out-hit, it makes a difference.”
Joel Quenneville was asked if Viktor Stalberg might get back in the lineup considering Brandon Bollig’s misplay along the boards before Daniel Paille’s winning goal in overtime.
“He could play,” Quenneville said.
For those who have been around Quenneville since he got to Chicago, could play usually means he will play.
Stalberg has been a healthy scratch for the first two games of the Final.
The scene shifts from one loud building to another in TD Garden.
“We’ve played a lot of games on the road in playoffs and we know this one is going to be as loud as ever,” Duncan Keith said. “We go into these games knowing that everybody in the building is going to be against us. We stick together and just try and block everything out.
“Hockey is the same game no matter what building we’re in. The ice doesn’t change. Nothing changes but the fans in the stands cheering against you.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.