Blackhawks head into offseason with questions

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 25, 2012
Two days after the Chicago Blackhawks were eliminated from the playoffs, general manager Stan Bowman said goaltending and poor special teams play were the major obstacles to success this season. No. 1 goaltender Corey Crawford let in two soft goals in overtime that cost them in playoff games, and didn't post a shutout this season in 57 appearances. His goals-against average of 2.72 ranked 32nd in the NHL, and more than a goal a game worse than the league leader, St. Louis' Brian Elliott. ''Our goaltending in general was not our strength this season,'' Bowman said. ''Individually, (Crawford) has to be better, and I think he would agree with that.'' Crawford was not at the news conference Wednesday. The Chicago power play, led by Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp, scored 42 times in 82 games, connecting on 15.2 percent of chances, and ranked 24th in the 30-team NHL. ''You want the power play to be a momentum generator, not a momentum killer,'' Bowman said. ''The momentum would die when we got the power play. It's unacceptable to have the caliber of players we do and not make it work.'' Kane called the power play ''a big downfall for us. It's embarrassing when you're 16th out of 16 teams in the playoffs.'' He said missing a big player screening the goaltender, as Dustin Byfuglien did during the Stanley Cup run of 2010, was a reason why. ''That's a huge part of the power play,'' Kane said. The penalty killing was worse, ranking 27th and allowing goals on 21.9 percent of opposing chances. Bowman called it ''a coaching thing,'' but while voicing confidence in head coach Joel Quenneville, refused to say if assistants Mike Kitchen or Mike Haviland would return. Kitchen and Haviland traded special teams duties during the season. ''I thought the power play was a sore point,'' Quenneville said. ''The penalty killing wasn't much better when you look at the stats. I'm going to absorb some responsibility for this year. In the future, our coaches will have to absorb responsibility, and our players will have to absorb responsibility.'' Bowman said losing gritty forward Dan Carcillo to a season-ending knee injury in January hampered the club. ''He really fit in well with our higher-end players,'' Bowman said. ''He made a contribution. When you can spread the scoring out on three lines with physicality, you have an advantage.'' Carcillo has been re-signed through the 2013-14 season. Other moves, Bowman said, won't be decided until he completes assessing this year's roster, but not every free agent will return. ''It's hard to look at the season as a success two days after you're eliminated,'' Bowman said. ''This is what you're measured on. But you also can't throw out the 101 points this season.'' The Hawks finished fourth in the Central Division with the fifth-most points in the Western Conference, but were eliminated by Phoenix, the Pacific Division champion, in six games. Five went to overtime. ''When you don't reach your goal, it's a big disappointment,'' Bowman said. ''We set out every year to win the Stanley Cup, and we didn't do that. We're sitting here and not playing past the end of April.'' Bowman said he expected forward Marian Hossa, who suffered a season-ending concussion after a hit to the head by Phoenix forward Raffi Torres, to be ready for next season. Training camp is five months away.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Chargers don’t know if Joey Bosa will report to camp

Report: RG3 to be given four out of five first-team reps

Chris Sale says White Sox put business over winning

Report: Peterson likely entering last season with Vikings

Cubs trade for Chapman a risk, but potential payoff too hard to ignore


White Sox fan wears a fantastic taped-up Chris Sale jersey

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

Browns indicate they will give Josh Gordon another chance

Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending neck surgery

Eagles want Carson Wentz to be 'starter ready' Week 1

Ten hottest golfers heading into 2016 PGA Championship

Five NFL sophomores poised to break out in 2016

Tre Mason's family concerned about RB's mental health?

Dion Waiters' deal signals the end of the 2016 money grab

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

Cavs sign coach Tyronn Lue to a five-year extension

More than 10,000 people registered for Jaguars Pokemon Go night

NFL issues new concussion protocol

Angels listening to offers on Hector Santiago

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

Kevin Durant’s OKC restaurant will be closed, rebranded

Lamar Odom said to be held back by one 'toxic friend'

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker