Konroyd's Keys: Hawks-Wild, Game 5

Konroyd's Keys: Hawks-Wild, Game 5
May 9, 2013, 3:45 pm
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Steve Konroyd

1: Continue the aggressive team defense: The Blackhawks have allowed just 6 goals in the 4 games thus far in the series. That is outstanding. They’ve done it by being aggressive when they don’t have the puck. And it doesn’t matter what zone the Wild are in – offensive, defensive, and neutral – the Blackhawks have been determined to get the puck back when they don’t have it. Keep this part of your game up.

2: Lots of rubber at Harding: It looks like Josh Harding will be the starting goaltender for Minnesota tonight. He’s been a great story in the playoffs so far. Diagnosed with MS in November, the surprise starter in game one of the playoffs. He has been very good with a .923 save percentage, some great saves throughout the series and a win in overtime. He was injured in the last game, and could only play 20 minutes. The game plan for Chicago has to be shoot first and ask questions later. He might be playing injured and this would affect his play.

3: Finish this quickly, you’ll need the rest: Minnesota doesn’t want to go away quietly. There are too many good players on that team with tons of pride. That being said, the Hawks have a strangle hold on this series. The Stanley Cup playoffs are 2 months of strenuous battles. It really becomes a war of attrition, and with San Jose resting and waiting in the wings as a possible opponent in the next round, the sooner this series gets decided, the better for the Blackhawks.