Konroyd's keys to Blackhawks-Oilers

Konroyd's keys to Blackhawks-Oilers
February 25, 2013, 3:00 pm
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Steve Konroyd

1: Oilers gush on the power play: Edmonton is currently ranked 7th with the man advantage. Last year, they did a lot of damage on the power play against Chicago. The Oilers went 8-for-24 in that department last year, and beat Chicago the last three times they met. Don’t let the power play be a factor, considering the success Jordan Eberle and Sam Gagner had against Chicago last year.  

[MORE: Hawks' seven-game homestand concludes against Edmonton]

2: Short and hard on the second game of back-to-backs: Chicago is 3-0 in the second game of a back-to-back matchups this year. Last year, the Blackhawks had the best record in the entire NHL when it came to playing on consecutive nights. When you keep your shifts short and you play hard, you simplify your game. That’s what needs to happen against Edmonton.

3: Protect your blue line: The Oilers like to weave their magic once they're inside their opponent's blue line. Players like Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ales Hemsky, Nail Yakupov, and Ryan Smyth (Taylor Hall is out with a suspension) are great at making plays once inside your zone. The Blackhawks need to force them to dump it in or turn it over at the blue line. So far, Chicago has done a great job of that this year. Forwards are creating a lot of back pressure on the puck with an aggressive back check.