Sep 23, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad (20) is defended by Detroit Red Wings center Tomas Nosek (82) during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Tomorrow night the Chicago Blackhawks will take on the Detroit Red Wings, their longtime heated Original Six rival. Not only will the rivalry be on the Chicago Blackhawks minds, they will also be seeking revenge from their loss to them earlier this year in mid November. Their last matchup ended up in a one-sided game that seemed as if the Blackhawks forgot they were playing hockey. With the divisional realignment that took place back in the 2013-2014 season the two teams now only face each other twice each year compared to the four times they once battled while in the same division. The games now mean that much more between the two teams and it should be a good battle. Below are the Chicago Blackhawks 3 keys to victory vs. the Detroit Red Wings.
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The first key to victory will fall in the hands of players like Andrew Shaw, Bryan Bickell, and Daniel Carcillo. However, it will take more than just those players physicality to win the game. The entire Chicago Blackhawks team will have to be physical for 60 minutes and come from all angles. The matchup should be tough and tight so being able able to wear the other team down and capitalize on weakness will probably be the deciding factor in the final ticks of the game.
This game will show which team truly has the better special teams play. The Chicago Blackhawks who own the leagues best penalty kill at 87.9% (18 goals allowed in 149 times short handed) will be going head-to-head with the leagues best power play threat at 26.0% (51 power play goals in 196 opportunities.) The Blackhawks will have to display the best penalty killing they have had all year if they wan’t to keep the puck out of the back of the net. The Blackhawks with the man advantage are ranked 11th in the league at 18.9% (37 power play goals in 196 opportunities) while the Red Wings are ranked 10th in the league on the penalty kill at 83.0% (32 goals allowed in 188 times short handed.) It should be very interesting to see which team gets the better of the other one.
One of the biggest problems that have led to Chicago Blackhawks losses this year are the nasty turnovers they have given up in games. The turnover problems are not just something new either, they date back to their first matchup against the Detroit Red Wings where they lost in a lopsided battle 4-1. If the Blackhawks cannot control the puck they do not have a chance against the Red Wings attack. Playing with intelligent hockey IQ when passing and dumping the puck in their zone will be an important key to the Blackhawks victory.
What do you think are the Chicago Blackhawks 3 keys to victory against the Detroit Red Wings? Feel free to leave your 3 keys in the comments below!
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