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Lack of goals becoming major frustration for Blackhawks

Paul Skrbina, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Hockey

"Get in front of the goalie's eyes, I think is the biggest thing," center Nick Schmaltz said. "We gotta get more traffic, some dirty goals and some rebounds. After we get a couple of those I think the plays will start opening up."

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, not one to spend much time fretting about such small samples, said his concern about the lack of scoring is beginning to sprout.

"Starting to think about it," he said Sunday. "We have to find a way to generate some offense. We scored the winning goals the last two games with our power play. ... The offense is a little dry right now."

Exactly why that is, nobody is quite sure.

Some different line combinations have been tried. Pucks haven't bounced the Blackhawks' way.

"It could be chalked up to a few different things," Kane said. "Just kind of bearing down on our chances. Seems like there's some loose pucks around the net that we can't really get there in time, or when we do, we can't put it in the right place to put it in the net. A little rusty in that area."

The power play also has been squeaky, with a 13.6 percent conversion rate, 28th in the league.

The saving grace, so far, has been goalie Corey Crawford, who leads the NHL in save percentage (.945) and goals-against average (1.77).

But Schmaltz and his teammates are looking forward to a time when they don't have to rely so heavily on their goalie.

"We can't get too tight," Schmaltz said. "Can't too much pressure on ourselves and just relax and make plays. A lot of guys in here can make plays."

And a lot of those guys feel like it's just a matter of time before they do.

(c)2017 Chicago Tribune

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Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

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