Konroyd's keys: Game 4

Konroyd's keys: Game 4
June 6, 2013, 10:00 am
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Steve Konroyd

1. Rally the troops when you get some bad news: Top defenseman Duncan Keith will be lost for tonight's matchup due to a one-game suspension. He played almost 27 minutes in his last game, by far the most minutes of any player on the ice. He plays the power play, penalty kill and key situations late in periods and late in the game. They will be without his services and the D corps, as a group, will have to pick up the slack. Sheldon Brookbank should get an opportunity to play, his first game of the post season. Players like Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Johnny Oduya, and Nick Leddy will have to eat some extra minutes and bring up their level of play.

[MORE: How the Hawks respond without Keith]

2. Find a little more will on the walls: Chicago had done a great job during the first two games of this series along the boards. Getting pucks out and keeping pucks in along the wall was a strong point for this team. Not so much in Game 3 in LA. They lost a board battle on the Kings' first goal, and they weren’t able to establish a strong forecheck in the other end of the rink. Games at this time of year are won in the trenches, and the trenches in hockey are along the boards.

3. Stop LA’s momentum here and now: Game 3 was a huge push back game for the Kings. They stopped a slide which saw them get back into this series with a much needed win against a Chicago team which had won five games in a row in these playoffs. The Blackhawks have to get back that intensity and momentum early in this game. That means short, strong shifts to start this contest, and contributions from the top dogs that gets the Kings on their heels and playing in their own end. Get the puck deep and get it back, and let your skill and will score you some goals.