Konroyd's keys to Game 3

Konroyd's keys to Game 3
May 20, 2013, 11:30 am
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Game Date Location Time/Result
1 Wed., May 15 United Center (W) 4-1
2 Sat., May 18 United Center (L) 4-1
3 Mon., May 20 Joe Louis Arena (L) 3-1
4 Thurs., May 23 Joe Louis Arena L 1-0
5 Sat., May 25 United Center W 4-1
6* Mon., May 27 Joe Louis Arena TBD
7* Wed., May 29 United Center TBD
* If necessary | All times Central
Steve Konroyd

1. Deny the middle on Detroit breakouts: Biggest difference I saw in the Red Wings' breakouts in Game 2 was the use of the middle of the ice. Most teams either pass to the boards or bang it around the boards because it’s easy and if you turn it over, the attacker isn’t in prime scoring real estate. To use some hockey lingo, F1 for Chicago (the first forechecker: Forward 1) puts pressure on the puck. F2 (the second forechecker) tries to seal the boards where he thinks the puck will be played. F3 (the last forward) stays high and tries to read where the play is heading so he can help out the defense on a clean breakout. F3 was too high last game and has to be in a position where if Detroit wants to break it out in front of their net, Chicago has people in the vicinity, typically F3.

[MORE: Blackhawks look to ramp up intensity in Game 3]

2. No needless penalties: Chicago took four penalties in the last game, which is too many. They also came at bad times, which gave Detroit momentum. Dave Bolland took a slashing penalty 40 seconds after Patrick Kane had made it 1-0 in the first, and although Detroit didn’t score, they got a lot of looks and took some momentum. Pavel Datsyuk hit the crossbar and the Wings moved the puck very effectively with the man advantage. No surprise when they scored early in the second, while outshooting Chicago 6-0 to start that second frame. Coach Q hates needless penalties, and Chicago had four of them.

3. Beware of Datsyuk and Zetterberg: Although he was held pointless, I thought Pavel Datsyuk was the best player on the ice in Game 2. He plays with a couple of big guys in Johan Franzen and Justin Abdelkader, and they had it going on during long stretches during the last game. Henrik Zetterberg brought it to another level in Game 2, and he won the head to head battle with Jonathan Toews. That might not be the matchup in Game 3, but the bottom line is our stars have to be better than their stars. They were in Game 1, and these Hawks typically play better on the road. Time to regain home ice advantage.