You'd think $28 million would buy Hawks a better power play

What part of “shoot’’ doesn’t Brent Seabrook understand?

The Blackhawks' power play is back to last season’s special brand of awful, and while it certainly isn’t all Seabrook’s fault, it seems to start with him once the Hawks gain the offensive zone, and if it doesn’t start with him, then Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane and the rest of that expensive unit can’t finish.

Nobody could finish much Tuesday night. The Hawks’ only power-play goal came on a knuckleball by Nick Leddy as they blew five of six power plays in a depressing 3-2 shootout loss to Anaheim at home.

The Hawks still haven’t lost in regulation, but they are lost on the power play. They are excruciating.

In the last seven games, they have converted just 3 of 29 power plays, two of those goals coming during a two-man advantage. During that time, the Hawks suffered three shootout losses, so you could argue the sorry power play has cost them three points that might prove important at the end of April.

Twice on Tuesday night, the Hawks worked power plays in the five-minute overtime, if you can imagine such a thing. Twice they failed, which is not hard to imagine even though the overtime power plays were 4-on-3 advantages.

On the second opportunity, Joel Quenneville sent out Toews and Kane up front and put Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp on the points. The coach grew as frustrated as you with the ineptitude.

Despite that change, nothing changed.

There’s too much talent for the Hawks to be this bad with an extra skater. And again, I’m not dumping all this on Seabrook, but too many times, it seems, the Hawks defenseman has had the puck at the point or the top of the slot and then hesitated and looked for a pass. No. Stop. Get it and shoot it. Got it?

Even if the opposing goalie figures to see the puck because the Hawks lack net presence to start with, Seabrook and the other point men need to just shoot the puck and let the $18-million-plus collection of forwards crash the net looking for rebounds.

On the road trip -- heck, during all of their near-record start to this hurry-up season -- the Hawks were executing the kind of game plan you’d kill for in the playoffs. Their stars were playing like stars, their goalies were spectacular, their penalty killing ranked at the top, and their power play was scoring goals -- big goals.

The first three items on that checklist have remained reliable. The last one has gone pffft. Quenneville has spent the last couple weeks talking about how well everything was going. The quick-change bench artist wouldn’t change a thing.

Well, guess what? Quenneville changed assistant coaches in the offseason, bringing Jamie Kompon into the organ-I-zation specifically to coach the power-play. Time to see him coach.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Seabrook stalls

    Seabrook stalls

    Brent Seabrook needs to become more aggressive for the Hawks' power play to be productive.

  • Bold predictions for Lolla 2015

    Bold predictions for Lolla 2015

    The Lolla schedule is sort of like the NCAA tournament: there are millions of possible combinations, and it’s anyone’s guess what the winning picks will be. With that in mind, we make some bold predictions about how this year’s fest (returning to Grant Park Fri.-Sun.) will turn out. Breakout artist...

  • 2010 killing of Chicago cop detailed at trial; man claims self-defense

    2010 killing of Chicago cop detailed at trial; man claims self-defense

    The man on trial in the killing of Chicago police Officer Thor Soderberg hated police and surprised the officer as he changed out of his uniform at shift end and placed his duty belt down, a Cook County prosecutor alleged Monday.

  • Aldermen to hold hearing on untested rape kits

    Aldermen to hold hearing on untested rape kits

    Chicago aldermen on Monday called on police officials to provide information on how quickly rape kits are being tested by the state crime lab, part of a largely symbolic effort to determine whether a large backlog is hampering work to apprehend rapists.

  • Alderman's 'Chi-raq' criticism falls flat

    Alderman's 'Chi-raq' criticism falls flat

    A South Side alderman's effort to tweak filmmaker Spike Lee for using "Chi-raq" as the title for a movie about Chicago violence fell flat Monday with his colleagues.

  • ComEd to hold energy fairs to help low-income customers

    ComEd to hold energy fairs to help low-income customers

    Commonwealth Edison will hold energy fairs at satellite locations across the region Monday in order to get money to thousands of people struggling to pay their electricity bills in northern Illinois.

  • PAWS Chicago "Muttshots!"

    PAWS Chicago "Muttshots!"

    These adorable pups are on the loose looking for a place to call home. They have a warrant out for their arrest. Their crime? Being irresistibly cute and cuddly. If you're interested in adopting any of these dogs, please visit for more information.

  • Wabash Lights exceeds Kickstarter goal, hopes to begin test this fall

    Wabash Lights exceeds Kickstarter goal, hopes to begin test this fall

    The designers of an ambitious plan to install colorful LED lights on the underside of the Wabash Avenue "L" tracks raised almost $60,000 in a Kickstarter campaign that will allow them to move forward with a test of the project.