Dec 29, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) skates with the puck against Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) during the first period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
BETTER COMPLETE GAMES
If you have not noticed, as of late the Chicago Blackhawks have sometimes had trouble getting off to a good start due to not playing complete games. Sometimes they seem to be outplayed in the first and then other times they seem sluggish in the 2nd period when coming out. It is not until the 3rd period when they are down and finally wake up to turn the boosters on. Scott Powers of ESPN wrote a great little piece titled “Slow Starts Adding Up For Blackhawks.” It highlights that the Blackhawks are 13-1-0 after leading in the 1st period but only 4-4-1 when trailing after the period.
It hasn’t become a huge concern yet but it is definitely something that Coach Q should continue to reiterate in the locker room. A better start will ensure that the Blackhawks do not have to play from behind in the 2nd period and alter the game plan. Nobody likes to play in panic mode after being down and the Blackhawks should avoid at all costs because the good teams in the NHL will take advantage of those weaknesses and beat the Blackhawks.
With a more complete game being played by getting off to a quick start and scoring in the first this will take some of the pressure off of Corey Crawford. Continued effort into the 2nd and 3rd is where they can score again and leave the other teams in the rear view mirror. The team has the talent necessary, going forward Coach Q and Jonathan Toews should be vocal about the issue and hold the team accountable.