CHICAGO – To listen Joel Quenneville coach and captain Jonathan Toews Jersey talk about it, the Chicago Blackhawks are overcoming their fears of early season.
But for a franchise that has won three Stanley Cups since 2010, who readily admit that there is still much room for improvement.
Almost three weeks after the season, the penalty killing unit Blackhawks has been abysmal, allowing 15 goals in 30 short-handed situations to rank last in the league. The unit was third in the NHL as recently as the 2012-13 season and finished in the top 20 each of the next two seasons before falling to 22 in 2015-16 overall.
“I still think there are some areas we got to still feel that we can be better in the eyes, and based on positive aspects we have achieved,” said Quenneville team’s official website on Saturday, a day after Chicago (4-3 -1) gathered for a 3-2 overtime victory against New Jersey. “As a group, we take pride in working together, and let’s make sure we get a good pressure up ice, good pressure on inputs, good light, firing line, all the things that lead to have a program. .. unit penalty killing. ‘
Chicago killed three of the four games of power of demons, and recent history against the Kings indicates that the trend could continue. The Blackhawks Jersey have killed 21 of 23 power play opportunities-Los Angeles’ while posting a 6-3-1 record in their last 10 clashes.
“We know that this beginning of the year, there have been some bumps in the road, but we know there is so much better and much potential in this team. We will be better and better,” Toews said, who attended power play goal of Marian Hossa later in the regulation against the devils that made it 2-2.
Toews scored 28 goals in each of the past three seasons, but is still looking for his first time in 2016-17. That would tie with Ken Wharram for 10 in the list of all-time Chicago, 251.
Quenneville said Saturday that Corey Crawford will start in goal. He is 8-5-0 with an average of 2.83 goals against average in 13 career starts against the Kings. Quenneville also said he likes the way Crawford has recently played, including a tour of 30 to guard against the Devils.
“I think he has been very good the last couple of games, which were his two (Friday night) best and was one of those games where the goalkeeper was an important step in getting colon factor,” Quenneville said.
The Blackhawks were 1-1-1 against the Kings in 2015-16, with the season series capped by a 5-0 defeat at home on March 14 with Crawford networking.
Although Los Angeles (4-4-0) skated with his lopsided victory was only the second in his last seven regular visits to the Windy City dating back to February 2013 season.
Kings try to recover after four winning streak was photographed with a 1-0 loss to St. Louis on Saturday.
Peter Budaj, who is full of admirable in goal, while Jonathan Quick (lower body) and Jeff Zatkoff (groin) are recovering from injuries, allowed the only goal early in the third period. It dropped to 4-1-0 with a 2.12 GAA and .906 one save percentage in five starts this season.
However, Budaj has not faced Chicago since April 9, 2014 when he played in Montreal. Budaj is 0-3-1 in his last four games with Chicago and a 3.73 GAA 1-5-1 in seven games against the Blackhawks since November 2008.
As they prepare to play consecutive games for the first time this season, Jack Campbell backup goalkeeper could make his first NHL appearance in just over three years. Campbell, global selection of 11 Dallas in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, made his debut against Anaheim on Oct. 20, 2013, and allowed six goals on 47 shots in the loss of the Stars 6-3.
Los Angeles may be undefended Brayden McNabb, who left Saturday’s game with an upper body injury after a collision with Colton Parayko. Kings coach Darryl Sutter of said McNabb will be reevaluated (two goals in seven games) Sunday.