CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is officially worried about his team’s lack of offense.
Since torching the Washington Capitals for six goals on opening night, the Blackhawks offense has dried up. It's accumulated just 14 goals over the past six games and hasn’t scored a third-period goal since the season opener.
Quenneville saw more of the same in the Blackhawks’ 3-2 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday. The Blackhawks opened the game with some substantial offense and reached double digits in shots on goal within 10 minutes, but their momentum was short-lived. The Blackhawks were held to 13 shots on goal over the last two periods after recording 13 in the first period and again couldn’t put the puck in the net during the third period.
Although the Blackhawks were able to gain a point on the night, unlike in their late third-period collapse against the Blues last week, Quenneville was not pleased with Thursday’s outcome.
“No. Awful,” Quenneville said. “I didn’t like our game at all tonight. First 12 minutes I liked. after that ...
“I don’t know. It just slowed down. We stopped getting it behind them or getting it at the net. We slowed ourselves right down.”
Quenneville toyed with his lines throughout the game looking for an offensive answer. He shifted Andrew Shaw to play with Jonathan Toews and Bryan Bickell on the top line, and that didn’t work. He moved Patrick Kane to the third line with Brandon Pirri and Brandon Saad, and that didn’t work. He also went back to his original lines, but nothing clicked for the Blackhawks.
“I didn’t like our pace,” Quenneville said. “I didn’t like the way we turned pucks over. I didn’t like how we didn’t get pucks to the net. Didn’t generate any offense after the first period for me.”
Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook put the responsibility on the team’s defense to pull through when the offense isn’t producing.
“I thought we did a good job in the first period, but our second period and our third period have to be better,” Seabrook said. “I don’t think we’re scoring a lot of goals right now. We’re having a tough time finding the net, but with that being said, we have to muscle out these games 2-0, 2-1, 1-0. That’s the mindset we have to have when we’re not scoring goals.”
That might work for the short term, but Quenneville knows what has to happen in the long run for the Blackhawks to be successful.
“We need some offense,” Quenneville said. “And I don’t like coaching offensively.”