1. Score the first goal. One thing that has been a constant in this series is that the team that scores first has gone on to win the game. It has happened five times now. Scoring first gives you momentum, gives you confidence — and when you’re at the United Center — gives you a huge shot of adrenalin coming from 22,000 fans. It also slows down the opponent. It’s like a huge body blow to the opponent, and it typically takes the other team a few shifts to recover. Strike first, and don’t let them get back up.
2. Keep paying the price. The Chicago Blackhawks have been out-hit in each of the first five games of this series. They know that St. Louis will make you pay the price each and every time you have the puck. That has not intimidated the puck carrier for the Blackhawks one bit. They keep getting bumped and bowled over, but they continue to make the right play in the face of charging freight train. It takes guts and courage but these Hawks know that paying the price to make the right play is what wins them games.
3. Rebounds are there on Miller. Blues goaltender Ryan Miller has been solid in this series. If there is one area he has not excelled it is his rebound control. Marian Hossa’s first goal of the game was a rebound off of a weak shot, a second chance that should have never happened. Miller had a number of these “second chances” come off his body, but the Blackhawks weren’t able to capitalize. It means establishing position and getting inside, like Hossa did on his goal, and the payoff is a good scoring chance.