1. Possible battle of Olympic goaltenders: Both Corey Crawford and Cam Ward will be given a long look as being one of the three goalies Canada will carry at the Winter Olympics this January. Both have won Stanley Cups and Ward has earned MVP Playoff honors while Crawford was in the mix for the Blackhawks this past June when Patrick Kane won the award. Ward has yet to win a game this year and will try to find his game against the defending Stanley Cup Champs.
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2. Bryan Bickell needs a breakout game: Bryan Bickell has been “OK” but he knows he can be better. He was a force in the playoffs last spring where he emerged as a power forward with good hands. Bix has been trying to do a little too much lately, trying to justify the big contract he earned during those playoffs. For Bickell, simpler is better, which means getting on the body and going to the net. With just one assist to show for five games, Bickell is due, and tonight could be the night.
3. Play the 3rd like it’s the 1st: The Blackhawks have come out ‘guns a blazing’ in all five of their games so far. There starts have been nothing short of impressive. The 3rd periods of all five games have been a different story. They have outshot their opponents by over 60% in period number one and have been outshot by 20% in period number three. When you have a team down, don’t take your foot off their throats, and that is what the Blackhawks have done a couple of times already this year.