May 21, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) makes a stick save as Los Angeles Kings left wing Dwight King (74) looks for the puck during the first period in game two of the Western Conference Final of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
It is already bad enough that the Blackhawks cannot find a way to score on the man advantage but to make matters worse the penalty kill has also seen better days. On the penalty kill the Blackhawks were 27 for 29 (93.7%) during the first round, 15 for 17 (88.2%) during the second round, and 7 for 12 (58.3%) through 4 games in the Conference Final. The LA Kings have scored on 5 of their last 9 power play opportunities. Take away these power play goals from each loss and it would actually be a grittier series. Brent Seabrook was the first to try to take the blame saying, “I’ve got to be better, I was out there for both of those power-play goals. I’ve got to be better in those situations to help out Corey Crawford, help out everybody on the ice and we have to get the job done. That’s a big part of the series.” He cannot say it any better, yes Corey Crawford has given up a lot of goals lately but at the same time the defense has been putting themselves into bad situations which ended up putting Corey Crawford in and even worse position. They need to first start by not letting the offense get behind them and to the front of the net. They have gotten beat several times by a man wide open not defended or contested in front of the net for an easy deflection or tip in past Corey Crawford. Quote courtesy of NHL.com
If the Chicago Blackhawks cannot get their special teams together and back on the right track they will continue to see the same results tonight and their season will be over. It isn’t just the special teams though; it is the intricate parts of the special teams that they need to focus on and this will improve their all-around game. So keep an eye on the Blackhawks faceoffs, puck possession, and shots while on the man advantage. Also pay attention to the Blackhawks change in their penalty kill. It is going to take physical and fast play to defend the LA Kings. So if they can make some adjustments and stay on their assignments good things will come for the Chicago Blackhawks in this do or die situation. Expect the Chicago Blackhawks to give it their best with their back up against the wall and the noise of the Madhouse on Madison surrounding them. You can catch the game tonight at 8:00 PM on NBCS, CBC, RDS
LET’S GO HAWKS!!!
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