Konroyd's Keys: Blackhawks-Bruins, Game 5

Konroyd's Keys: Blackhawks-Bruins, Game 5

June 22, 2013, 3:45 pm
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Steve Konroyd

1. Continue the clean breakouts: The Blackhawks broke the puck out of their own zone in Boston as well as they have in this series to date. The D-men came back with speed, they blocked for each other, the wingers came back deep and the passes were tape to tape and with authority. That’s Blackhawks hockey: players with speed using short, accurate passes to advance the puck. It really helped nullify the Bruins forecheck, which was excellent in Game 3. Keep moving the puck out of your own end like this, and you’ll spend a lot more time in Boston’s end of the rink.

[More: Hawks' defense will be crucial in Game 5]

2. Chara is human, so treat him that way: It seemed Chicago’s game plan was to keep certain players away from Zdeno Chara in the first three games. That changed when coach Joel Quenneville loaded up his first line to see what they could accomplish against the Bruins captain. They made him look pretty ordinary, with Chara being on the ice for five of Chicago’s six goals in Game 4. They put pucks in his corner, and used speed and great passing to expose his footspeed when he gets in the corners. Bryan Bickell and Andrew Shaw had good hits that knocked the burly defenseman off his skates, and they have to keep doing this to make it a long night for Chara.

[More: How important will Hossa be in Game 5?]

3. Traffic and pucks at Rask: Not very often Tuukka Rask gives up six goals in a game. He had given up no goals in his previous 122 minutes of hockey. But that all ended when Chicago started getting bodies and pucks to the net. The forwards did a great job of getting inside position on the Boston defensemen, and it paid off where four of the six goals were a result of having bodies in front. The Bruins will do a better job of protecting the house, but if the forwards keep getting their noses to the top of the crease, they will make Rask’s job a lot tougher.