By Connor McKnight–
The Blackhawks sit in 12th place in the Western Conference entering Friday night’s game against the Senators and issues with the penalty kill are the hot-button topic of late. After allowing the Stars to score on all three of their power plays on Wednesday night the Hawks fell from 25th to 28th in the league in penalty kill efficiency.
“When you’re out there, you want to make sure that you’re positive and you want to be part of the solution,” Joel Quenneville said of his penalty killers. “[You want to] see yourselves doing the right things and moving together as a group of four–or three. At the same time, I think that hesitation sometimes is a lack of confidence.”
It’s tough to be confident when nearly every penalty the Hawks take results in a goal.
“Last game it was a couple bad breaks so you can’t blame it all on the penalty killers,” Patrick Kane said. “Worst part about it is the penalties we’re taking … aren’t really good penalties so when you don’t kill them off it really deflates the team a little bit.”
It’s not a solution to the problem but it is at least change: Nick Leddy has been called up from Rockford to replace Jassen Cullimore on defense. Quenneville did say that Leddy could see some time on the penalty kill.
“I would say that he could be in there,” Quenneville said. “I dont’ think, whether he starts in the top four … a lot of times one of your “D” are in the box so I would expect him to get a chance.”
Calling up Leddy isn’t a quick fix but it’s at the very least better than Cullimore. Leddy could blossom into a top four kind of guy and depth is something the Hawks could certainly use.