Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What the Blackhawks need to do in Round 2

Win at least one of the games in Vancouver (preferably both). We're the low seed in this one and that means that we do not have home ice advantage. We start the series in Vancouver and end in Vancouver. If this series takes the same course that the last one did (with the exception of the last game of the series), this means the home team will win. We cannot leave Vancouver without a win, or it's over.

The next key point is fairly obvious, but I'll say it anyway. Win at home. We're 3-0 at home in these playoffs; don't let that end. It's the easiest way to get wins, so don't let them slip through your fingers. With HUGE fan support and a great atmosphere, there's no reason not to win.

Park Dustin Byfuglien in front of the net. If you haven't seen Dustin Byfuglien, then you need to know that he's a large man and a force to be reckoned with. We're up against a tough goalie in Roberto Luongo, but there's a way to deal with good goaltenders: Don't let them see the puck. It's an old tactic that the Blackhawks in no way created, but they use pretty often with Big Buff. Battle for a spot in front of the net and block the goalie's sight until the puck gets there. That way, if the goalie even sees the puck, he has about .03 seconds to react to it.

Take the Sedins out of the equation. And I don't mean injure them. I just mean that we need to put bodies on them and make them ineffective. Make it hurt when they touch the puck, make them not want to play hockey. If we don't, the Wonder Twins will make their powers activate and decimate Khabibulin.
Keep scoring on the power-play. We did well to take advantage of a lot of Calgary's mistakes by making them pay while they were in the box. Keep it up! 5-on-4 will make things a little more even for us since Roberto Luongo might as well be two people standing in net.

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