Duncan Keith: Don't blame power play
The league's top-ranked unit went 0-for-9 in the past two games, contributing to two tough losses. But after the Blackhawks' 3-1 loss Monday to the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome, an upset Keith offered another reason for the team's troubles.
"[Expletive] the power play," Keith said after the game. "Nobody goes to the net to score goals. That's why we don't win."
Keith played on both power-play units Monday, as coach Joel Quenneville changed personnel when the poor attempts piled up. But given the chance again to comment on their man-advantage play, Keith went back to even-strength.
"The other team had power plays, too," he said. "They didn't score. They got it 5-on-5. If we start relying on 5-on-5, we might win, instead of relying on the power play and blaming the power play or the penalty kill. We start doing better 5-on-5, we'll win hockey games then."
Quenneville didn't like just about anything his team did in the game, and certainly didn't disagree with his defenseman's assessment.
"All game long, our scoring chances were at a low for us," he said. "We needed pucks at the net, traffic at the net. That was not anywhere near close enough to get it done."
The Blackhawks have lost four of their past five games, and Monday's defeat resulted in a four-point swing in the Western Conference standings. Surging Calgary moved into eighth place with 61 points, while the Blackhawks fell to 11th with 58 points.
Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.