Blackhawks already have more shorthanded goals in 2022-23 than 2021-22

Hawks have more shorthanded goals in 2022-23 than 2021-22 originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Luke Richardson brought a new penalty-kill mindset when he took over as the Blackhawks' head coach, instructing his team to be more aggressive in all facets. In other words, less sitting back and more of a "be ready to attack" kind of mentality.

After a rough Opening Night in which they gave up four power-play goals to Colorado, the Blackhawks have since killed off 10 of 11 penalties for a percentage of 90.9. But their success goes beyond that.

The Blackhawks have scored three shorthanded goals through four games this season, which is more than they scored last season (2) in 82 games. Sam Lafferty has two of those goals and Connor Murphy the other.

So not only are the Blackhawks killing off penalties, but they're a threat to make you pay the other way because of their speed. That's probably not what anyone expected at the beginning of the season.

"I think it's got to, especially the speed of our team now," Richardson said when asked whether their league-leading three shorties keeps opponents honest. "All of a sudden we’re talking about the speed of the Chicago Blackhawks, it's just great.

"Confidence level, with a power-play unit, when they get going and a penalty killing unit when they get on a run like this, you build confidence and you feel OK to play an aggressive game because we feel confident that we can kill off penalties that are helpful to us; not a lazy penalty, not a reactional undisciplined penalty, but an aggressive, solid play. It’s going to help us win games.

"I think those guys individually, you’re seeing guys like obviously Lafferty and [Jason] Dickinson grow together on the penalty kill but it’s helping them 5-on-5 as well. Even with [Colin] Blackwell and [Jujhar Khaira], same thing with them. Their 5-on-5 play is going like this because they're doing so many good things on the PK.

"Right now, we’re not getting a lot on the offense from the power play after Game 1. Sometimes it goes like that. Usually one’s going, not both are going. Right now, the PK is carrying us but we know at some point of the season the power play will carry us, so we’ll ride this wave right now."

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