Tuesday night’s penalty kill was outstanding, partially because the Blackhawks have worked their power play way down to the 30th place in the league. The Maple Leafs, however, rank a little higher, at 21st overall. Apparently those nine spots made the Blues’ PK units forget how to defend, or maybe made them take for granted the anemic performance of the Blackhawks.
Whatever the reason, they’ve taken the night off tonight, allowing the Leafs to go two for two on the PP after one period. Joffrey Lupul began the scoring 11:27 into the game, on a power play goal after Patrik Berglund was called for boarding Clarke MacArthur. At 17:02, Phil Kessel scored his league-leading 12th of the year after a tripping call that saw Matt D’Agostini head to the box. Some clearing of the crease might’ve helped on Kessel’s goal, but whatever the reason for it, I’m pretty sure that Ken Hitchcock’s giving them what for in the locker room. He fixed the power play in one game; let’s see if he can fix the penalty kill in one intermission.