Konroyd's keys for Blackhawks-Ducks

Konroyd's keys for Blackhawks-Ducks
December 6, 2013, 1:45 pm
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Steve Konroyd

1. Watch the big dogs on the Ducks. Anaheim is a big, physical team that will make you pay the price. The first line is big and the most physical that will make you pay the price. Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Dustin Penner have combined for 52 points in the last 13 games they have played together. That is truly amazing. Perry is the smallest of the trio at 6-foot-3 and 212 lbs. But he is the key to the line. He is the engine that makes this line go. Whoever gets this assignment, whether it’s Duncan Keith/Brent Seabrook or Johnny Oduya/Niklas Hjalmarsson has to make sure they don’t make a difference.

[RELATED: Blackhawks host Ducks tonight on CSN]

2. PK has to improve. The Blackhawks have lost only 10 games so far this year, and in those games their penalty killing has been porous. Lack of shot blocking, especially shots from the point, seems to be a major problem. It’s all about mirroring the puck and making sure you are between the puck and the intended target – the net. The closer you are to the trigger man, the better chance you have of blocking the blast.

[MORE: Blackhawks trade Kyle Beach to the Rangers] 

3. Back-to-backs are best for Blackhawks. Since the start of last year, the Blackhawks have the best record in the second game of back-to-back games in the entire NHL. They are an astounding 15-1-2 when getting no rest going into the second game of those matchups. They play a simpler game, go short and hard, and play a reactionary game. They will need it tonight, where the Ducks have beaten Chicago four-straight times; including all three games they played last year.