1. Limit Shots Against. The Blackhawks let the Florida Panthers take 35 shots on net in their last game. That’s about 10 too many, and it doesn’t include the 23 shots they blocked or the 11 shots the Panthers missed. Antti Raanta will be carrying the mail for the foreseeable future, so it’s best the Hawks get back to what they do the best, be a puck possession team. When you have the puck, the other team isn’t getting chances.
2. Lots of Talk for Raanta. Raanta played a very strong game in his last contest, filling in for an injured Corey Crawford in their last game against the Panthers. With over 46 minutes of playing time, one of the few mistakes Raanta made ended up in the back of the net when he made a bad outlet pass. He still is fairly new to the North American game, where goalies are used to passing the puck like a defenseman. Players, especially the D-men, have to be in his ear, letting him know his options when he comes out to play the puck.
3. Work as hard as the Stars. One thing that has really impressed me with this Dallas squad, and we’ve seen them a lot lately, is their tireless work ethic when they don’t have the puck. Yes, they allowed 50 shots to the Blackhawks in their last game, a victory last Tuesday at the UC, but they were hounding the puck with constant back pressure, and the Hawks weren’t getting a lot of good looks. The Blackhawks have to take a page out of this playbook and make sure they don’t get outworked by a feisty Dallas team.