The Blackhawks have survived the St. Louis Blues and now await the winner of the Minnesota Wild vs Colorado Avalanche series. As exciting and dramatic as the Blues series was and we all knew the Hawks were coming back right, the Hawks still have internal issues they need to deal with before the next round of the playoffs!!
Jun 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell (29) is escorted to the penalty box during the third period in game three of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. The Bruins won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
3. Stop The Parade To The Penalty Box
In the 6 game series against the Blues, the Blackhawks sat for almost an entire game (57 minutes) and it felt like they were in the box the entire 2nd period on Sunday! There of course are good penalties and bad ones look at Kruger’s 2nd period for examples, first penalty stopped Steen on the doorstep while his second one was a needless hold nowhere near Corey Crawford. The Hawks need to play their game without having to send Michal Handzus out there to be a shot blocking machine more than once or twice a game. Lastly, Andrew Shaw has to stop the brain fart penalties. His penalties seem to always be momentum killers especially since it is likely the Hawks will not have home ice advantage anytime in the playoffs.
2. Play Blackhawks Hockey For 60 Minutes
The Blackhawks during times of the series looked extremely dominant and the better team, but that only lasted for a short spells, this sound pretty familiar to most of the season where it was a lot of Great with a lot of what in the world thrown in! The Hawks need to play their possession game with a lot of Bryan Bickell and Andrew Shaw in front of the net the rest of the way. Don’t lose your heads any more like Brent Seabrook did dodgeing a bullet by a very solid performance from the much maligned Sheldon Brookbank. The Hawks way is the best way and they need to play like it for 60 minutes not 20-30 a night.
1. Get Back To Rolling Four Lines
This has to be their biggest issue moving forward! The Hawks played Brandon Bollig less than 2 minutes in a 60 minute Game in Game #6 and less than 5 minutes in Game #5. Sure the Hawks won both of those games, but there is no way possible that the top 9 can absorb that much ice time in a march to the Finals. One or two games is fine especially if the Wild can force a game #7 so the Hawks can get some extra rest, but the real secret to the Hawks success last year was four lines rolling along. Sure the playoffs are more of a chess match, but Joel Quenneville needs more chess pieces on the board during the games in the next series.
For us rolling four lines would include Jeremy Morin, but it doesn’t matter whose on which line if Bollig is dressing play Bollig the normal amount of shifts and not burn out Toews, Kane, and Hossa! The Hawks need their stars at full strength not totally exhausted.
What a great series win and theses are a few things the Hawks need to clean up for Round #2! REST UP HAWKS !!
For more Blackhawks updates and conversation follow us on Twitter @Blackhawk_Up or Like our Facebook page at Blackhawkup