Konroyd's keys to Blackhawks-Coyotes

Konroyd's keys to Blackhawks-Coyotes
November 30, 2013, 1:30 pm
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Steve Konroyd

1. Go short and hard and keep it simple: The toughest game of any long road trip is always the last one. Thoughts of getting home after spending almost two weeks on the road is bound to creep into everyone's mind. Add that to the fact that this game comes on the heels of a marathon contest played just last night that the Hawks won in the 11th round of a shootout. The Blackhawks were expected to get into their hotel at 3:00 a.m. this morning. Phoenix is well rested, having last played on Wednesday night in Minnesota. They have one of the best home records at 9-1-3. Limit shifts to 30 seconds and play a simple road game.

2. Put pucks deep and get them back: Dallas did a great job last night of pressuring the puck all over the ice — especially their "back side" pressure.  When you have players in your face and somebody forcing you from behind, it really limits your options. Chip pucks deep from the neutral zone and work like heck to get it back. Phoenix is very diligent in their back check so your puck management and offense has to come from a chip and chase mentality.

3. Keep Coyotes off the power play: The Blackhawks don't take a lot of penalties. They are the second-least penalized team in the league. That bodes well for Chicago because the Coyotes have thrived with the extra man on home ice. They are top five in the NHL at home, and convert on more than 27 percent of their chances. Believe it or not, they have scored more goals per game at home than Chicago, and 12 of their 47 tallies have come on their power play. Shane Doan and Radim Vrbata are players to watch, but don't be taking needless penalties.