1. Score that all important first goal:
The Blackhawks have had great starts this season, and in fact have scored the first goal in every game except one -- their only regulation loss -- in St. Louis. Scoring the first goal gets the crowd into it, gets the players into it, and gives you some momentum. St. Louis is coming off an ugly loss, a 6-2 shellacking at home at the hands of the undefeated San Jose Sharks. They might be bitter and looking for revenge, but an early goal will get them questioning themselves and their outstanding start. Of note, St. Louis is 4-0 this year when scoring first while Chicago is 4-0-1 when denting the twine first.
2. Need More from Bryan Bickell:
These are the kind of games that Bryan Bickell thrives in: A divisional opponent that likes to get physical. Those are circumstances that get Bickell pumped. Bickell plays his best when he is getting on the body and hurrying the defensemen to make quick decisions with the puck. His linemates feast on the turnovers, and he is usually around the net to pick up any leftovers. A goal would go a long way in helping his confidence where he has no goals and just one assist on the year. In Carolina, Bickell was credited with just one shot and no hits. That has to change.
3. Strong 3rd or you’ll be “Singin the Blues”:
The St. Louis Blues have outscored their opponents 6-3in the third period of games thus far. The Blackhawks have been outscored 8-3 in the third. That is a trend that has head coach Joel Quenneville a little concerned. In the past, when the Hawks had a team down going into the final frame they would wait for the opponents to ‘open up the offense’ and take advantage of it. That hasn’t happened yet this year, and all the Blackhawk wins so far have been by one goal. (not counting a Hossa empty netter).