Blackhawks News

Kick start my heart: Blackhawks head to Vancouver with series tied

By Jeffrey Bartl

UPDATE: Chris Kuc reports Troy Brouwer is likely a healthy scratch tonight.  Dustin Byfuglien skated with  Jonathan Toews and  Patrick Kane in the morning skate.

This series has put me on the brink of alcoholism, assuming society hasn’t already placed that tag on me. As we shift to Vancouver with the series tied, my heart may need a jump before Game 3 begins tonight.

Apparently, I’m not the only one. The Blackhawks have failed to hit the ice with any sense of urgency in the first two games. It lasted for most of Game 1, then continued into the first 7-plus minutes of Game 2. It can’t happen a third time.

Tonight’s obvious key is for the Blackhawks to let Vancouver know they mean business on the road by coming out flying around the ice. No stupid penalties, solid defensive positioning and a couple quick cycles in the offensive zone should suffice.

One misconseption I’ve heard blathered is that Vancouver may be demoralized a bit from Game 2’s third-period collapse. I don’t buy that. The Canucks played two fantastic games, they’re getting production from Daniel and Henrik Sedin down to  Mason Raymond and  Roberto Luongo has been pretty stellar in net. There’s nothing for the Canucks to hang their head about, and they’ll be gunning for another quick start tonight.

Patrick Sharp and  Brent Seabrook were effing animals in Game 2, and the ‘Hawks need more of the same in order to come out with at least one victory in Vancouver. It also would be nice to see SOMETHING  out of  Troy Brouwer and  Marian Hossa tonight.

We’ve got to assume  Adam Burish and  Ben Eager both will dress tonight after Q-Stache praised the intensity and energy they brought in Game 2. I’m hoping they decapitate the Sedins, just for good measure.

I’m dying to see  Antti Niemi bounce back strong after a VICTORY. There’s been tons of talk about how great he’s been after a loss, especially because he responded with shutouts after each defeat against Nashville. It’s time to put a couple of solid performances back-to-back and get up in this series to put some pressure on Vancouver.

Bottom line, the ‘Hawks need to come out firing tonight and not fall into another quick rut. Don’t let Vancouver dictate the tempo like it did in Game 1 and the beginning of Game 2.

Puck drop is 8:30 p.m. CST from General Motors Place in Vancouver.

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