Steve Montador is here to fix 'Hawks power play
Posted on: November 10, 2011 10:05 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2011 10:17 pm
By: Adam Gretz
The Chicago Blackhawks entered Thursday's game in Columbus with the worst power play unit in the NHL, converting on just five of their 57 attempts on the man advantage. That was not going to continue, simply because the Blackhawks have too many gifted playmakers and too much firepower on the roster to allow it to continue.
Perhaps all they needed was a game with the Columbus Blue Jackets to get things going in the right direction. Or maybe they just needed to give Steve Montador, of all people, a little bit of time on the power play.
During their 6-3 win over the Blue Jackets, who continue to secure their spot at the bottom of the NHL standings, the Blackhawks had a breakout game of sorts on the power play, going 2-for-3 during the win. It was the first time all season they scored more than one power play goal in a game, which is definitely good news. The surprising development isn't so much that they finally started to score, it's that it wasn't the usual suspects -- Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa -- getting the goals. And not only were they not the ones getting the goals, they weren't even on the ice.
Both power play goals came with the same group of players on the ice: Duncan Keith, Steve Montador, Nick Leddy, Andrew Brunette and Marcus Kruger. That's three defensemen and two forwards.
Montador is probably the most surprising name on the list, seeing as how entering Thursday night he had played just 8:32 of power play time during the regular season. That's an average of just 32 seconds per game. And not only did he play nearly two minutes on the power play on Thursday, the Blackhawks had him planted in front of the net, and he ended up recording two points, including his first goal of the season (shown above) as well as a helper on a power play goal scored by Brunette.
It was Montador's first power play goal since Jan. 29, 2008, and only the third of his career, so you probably shouldn't get used to seeing this.
Nice night for a struggling Blackhawks power play unit, and another ugly night for the Blue Jackets, whose record now stands at 2-12-1.