Konroyd's Keys for Game 4: Blackhawks-Blues

Konroyd's Keys for Game 4: Blackhawks-Blues
April 23, 2014, 3:00 pm
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Steve Konroyd

1: Keep “spreading the ice”.

The Blues are a frustrating team to play against. They are big, well-coached, and crowd “areas” of the ice. One of these “areas” is the neutral ice zone, where they cut the ice in half, overload wherever the puck is, and try to create turnovers. On a number of occasions in Game 3, the Blackhawks were able to break this trap by bumping the puck back and getting it to the other side, or making a direct pass through the “clog". It takes speed, it takes awareness, and it takes good passing. And when it works, it increases your speed game and entries into the offensive zone.

[GAME 4: Blackhawks look to even series with Blues tonight on CSN]

2: Better puck management a must.

Chicago started to get into trouble Monday night when they started turning the puck over to the Blues. St. Louis likes to “hound” the puck, but that doesn’t mean you cough it up when you feel some pressure. Treat that puck like it’s a $100 bill. And if you can’t make the right play, make sure it’s hard off the boards or down the ice. Don’t be feeding the Blues transition game.

3: Get your shots through and on net.

The “Big 4” for Chicago have combined for two goals over the three games so far. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have tallied, while Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp are still looking for their first goals of the playoffs. These four have combined to miss the net 14 times and get their shots blocked another 18 times. That’s a lot of potential rubber that Ryan Miller isn’t seeing. It doesn’t have to be a laser shot, but it has to get through and it has to be on net. It’s not just these guys, but they set a great example for the rest of the team.