When the Chicago Blackhawks were defeated by the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, many Blackhawks fans were left scratching their heads as if this was some kind of story tale from the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals. Nope, it is a new year and the NHL Playoffs are 100% back after only our first game in, resulting in a 3 OT thriller. Obviously there were a couple of mistakes made by the team since the score jumped from 3-2 with 1:46 left in 3rd, to 3-3 with 1:45 left in 3rd, and finally when the game ended with the St. Louis Blues skating away with a 4-3 win in the 3rd OT. Below there are a couple of things the Blackhawks probably already have taken a look at and if not they might want to.
Protect the lead strategy
For some crazy reason it seemed as if the Chicago Blackhawks went into some type of protect the lead strategy. Two different times when the Blackhawks were on the power play advantage during the 3rd period, Joel Quenneville had defenseman Michal Rozsival playing on the point. Personally I could think of several other players that are quicker and generate more opportunities. They ended up playing soft and tried to kill the time on the clock. Instead they should have played aggressive and tried to add to their lead. As a result the St. Louis Blues had life left in them and made them pay. There was a chain reaction of mistakes made by Johnny Oduya, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and Brandon Saad around the net, all in the blink of an eye. Ultimately, that series of mistakes resulted in a Jaden Schwartz backhand goal with 1:45 left in the 3rd. In game 2 they know what they need to do. I have a feeling that after watching the tape Quenneville will call out the mistakes and put it upon those players to correct them on their own in Game 2.