There wasn’t a lot of bad things on the ice on Wednesday night especially the last two periods, but here are three Hawks I’m looking forward to having a better Game #2 Saturday afternoon at the United Center.
1. Bryan Bickell- Bickell didn’t have a bad game but when the hits are 43-24 someone needs to make a point to the other team that running at players at to “finish off checks” will not be the norm in this series. Bickell is the best skilled big guy that can throw his body around with the possible exception of Brent Seabrook. Bickell had a very good regular season and first round against the Minnesota Wild now he needs to assert his will especially physically against the Red Wings and mostly Justin Abdelkader.
2. Andrew Shaw- Shaw looked like he drank 5 Mountain Dew’s and a 5 hour energy before the game because he was out of control. The Hawks needs his peskiness and his ability to throw his body around but do it without taking the stupid penalties. The Hawks Penalty Kill has been outstanding going 20-20 in the postseason but there is no reason to give the Red Wings extra chances like Shaw and the Hawks did in Game #1. Shaw is part of the four line rolling but should never be part of the story in the box.
1. Michal Handzus- Handzus was brought in to win faceoffs and yet he’s only 40-90 .44% This is not going to cut it for the entire playoffs. Handzus needs to be near 60 percent especially when it’s important faceoffs in our zone late in games with one goal leads on the line. The other concerning thing about Handzus is does he have the ability to keep up with speedsters Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp. The last couple games it seems like he’s a third defenseman instead of the #2 center. I know speed isn’t his #1 attribute but to play with those two another gear will be needed from Zus.
What Blackhawks players are you looking forward to showing improvement in Game #2?
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