Chicago Blackhawks' 19-Game Point Streak Hiding Major Flaw

Michael GibbonsCorrespondent IIFebruary 26, 2013

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 25: Marian Hossa #81 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates scoring the game-winning goal against Nikolai Khabibulin  #35 of the Edmonton Oilers at the United Center on February 25, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Oilers 3-2 in overtime.(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

With every game the Chicago Blackhawks continue to make history. They have not only surpassed the old record for most consecutive games with a point to start a season, they flew by it and with Monday's victory it stands at 19 games.

They have scored the third-most goals, while allowing the second-fewest in the entire league. The penalty kill is also second in the league behind only the Boston Bruins.

While they remain far away from the overall record of 35 straight games with a point, it isn't impossible to reach. However, if they want to break that record as well, they need to fix a major flaw.

After converting on 30 percent of their power play chances in the first four games of the season, it has dropped to just over 17 percent on the year. That 17 percent is good enough for 15th in the league, which is right in the middle of the pack.

However, if you take away that stretch, it is much lower. In the last 15 games the Hawks have only converted on 13.5 percent of their power play opportunities. That is good enough to be part of the bottom five in the league.

It is clear they have fixed the penalty kill, which was in the bottom five of the league last season, but what about the power play? How can a team with stars like Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa and captain Jonathan Toews struggle so much on the power play?

While many, including myself, have given coach Joel Quenneville a lot for credit for the team's fast start, he is equally to blame for the struggles of the power play. It has been a problem over the last two seasons, and while last year the argument could have been made for lack of talent, that isn't the case now.

Along with the core stars, Coach Q now has other offensively-talented players in Viktor Stalberg, Brandon Saad and Andrew Shaw. So what is the big problem?

They miss Brian Campbell more then they ever thought and they need a big body to screen the goalie.

They have not found a defenseman who can contribute on the power play with the passing and puck handling like Campbell. Having Campbell out there was like having a fourth forward. Over the past two seasons we have repeatedly seen two defensemen on the power play units.

Don't get me wrong; Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook are very talented, just in different ways. Also Nick Leddy has done a decent job but hasn't been able to fill the skates of Campbell.

The second issue, I believe, is the easier fix. Over and over again we have been treated to Andrew Shaw getting the scrappy goal around the net but his 5'10" and 180 pound frame isn't the hardest thing to look around. Why can't Stalberg or Bryan Bickell get a chance to be the screener on the top power play unit?

If the Hawks want to catch the '79-'80 Flyers then they need to fix the power play. More important then any record, if they want to hoist Lord Stanley's Cup again, they need to fix the power play.

What do you think is wrong with the power play? Sound off below.