CSN Chicago Blackhawks Pre/Postgame analyst Steve Konroyd gives his three keys to a Blackhawks' victory in Tuesday's game against the Avalanche.
1: Strong Start in the Mile High City:
The Blackhawks played maybe their best game of the season on Sunday night against the San Jose Sharks. They started a little slowly, and if not for the goaltending of Corey Crawford, they might have been fighting from behind. They were outshot 7-to-3 in the first 10 minutes of the game. They can’t let that happen in Denver. The Avs are reeling right now and are trying to right their ship. After winning 12 of their first 13 games, they have lost three in a row and four of their last six. It’s true what they say about playing at altitude – it sucks the air out of your lungs. So keep your shifts short and hard. Colorado is a very impressive 12 and 0 when scoring the games first goal.
2: Do Some Damage on the Power Play:
The Blackhawks have not scored a power play goal in their last few games. This after having scored in three consecutive contests with the man advantage. Colorado, up until two weeks ago, had the No. 1 penalty killing team in the NHL. But seven power play goals allowed in their last seven games has dropped them to 8th, and they are questioning their killers. Wreck their confidence by putting one up on the board with the extra man.
3: Continue the success of Your 2nd Line:
Patrick Kane, Brandon Pirri, and Kris Versteeg were thrown together because of some pretty significant injuries to some key players. Marian Hossa and Michal Handzus are out, and as a result head coach Joel Quenneville has been forced to shift on the fly. The result has been a second line that looked very impressive in their last outing. Those three combined for five points in their first complete game together against the Sharks. Offensive prowess is the key to this trio, and they fore-checked and cycled the puck as well as any line in their last game. Keep this up, and you’ll keep the other team on their heels.