The Blackhawks played some of their best hockey of the season over their last two games, handily defeating the Jets and Wild by a combined 9-2. They did so in part because they fixed a glaring problem that had plagued them for most of the year: playing poorly in the second period. “It’s not just a stat, it’s a fact,” coach Joel Quenneville said. As for the stats, the Hawks have a plus-12 goal differential in first periods and a plus-9 in third periods. In second periods, they are minus-4. They were minus-6 before the last two games. The Hawks are taking the issue seriously and have been working to address it. But it’s difficult for anybody to come up with a definitive reason as to why they haven’t played as well in the second period. “We should be pretty good in the second periods with the way we want to play a transition game and be quick off turnovers going the other way,” winger Patrick Kane said. “You’d think it’d be beneficial for us. “I don’t know if we’re thinking about that too much, thinking that we’re going to counter defense into offense, and maybe it’s going the other way for us. We can do a better job of staying 100 percent focused.” But ask any player and he’ll say that can be hard to accomplish over the course of a season. There are usually peaks and valleys in any game, and defenseman Connor Murphy said it is better to have the low points come in the second period.
Second-period woes are first on Blackhawks' list of fixes
Chicago Tribune | Dec 20