Apr 2, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) celebrates scoring a goal during the third period against the Vancouver Canucks at the United Center. Chicago won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
The Blackhawks secured their seventh consecutive playoff berth earlier this week. Despite clinching a spot in the playoffs, there is still much work to be done before the playoffs begin on April 13th.
With four games remaining in the regular season, here are five things the Blackhawks must scratch off there “to do list”.
5. Antoine Vermette needs to score! The Blackhawks acquired Vermette at the trade deadline to add a LEGITMATE second line center and some scoring depth. Well his goal scoring ability apparently did not make the trip up from Arizona. Vermette has yet to record a goal in 15 games with the Blackhawks. If the Blackhawks hope to make a deep run in the playoffs, Vermette needs to score.
4. Kimmo Timonen needs to more ice time. With the Blackhawks playing four “playoff” games before the actual playoffs begin, this would be a great time to give Timonen more ice time. He missed of the regular season with blood clots and has been slowly worked back into the lineup. If he is going to be a top six defenseman in the playoffs, we need more time on the ice from him.
3. The Defensive turnovers have to be reduced. It seems to be happening at an alarming rate. The Blackhawks as a whole turn the puck over in their own zone way too much. A turnover equals more scoring chances for their opponent. Michal Rozsival’s turnover against the Flames is a prime example of how costly defensive turnovers can be.
2. Jonathan Toews needs to stay hot. Toews has willed the Blackhawks two wins in their three games. Toews has scored late third period goals to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The captain is heating up at exactly the right time. With Patrick Kane still being out, Toews must shoulder more of the offensive load. Toews has five goals in the last five games.
1. The Blackhawks need to keep winning! The playoffs for the Blackhawks started this week. With each win the Blackhawks inch closer to the division title and home ice advantage. If the Blackhawks leap frog the St. Louis Blues, the Blackhawks would take on the Nashville Predators. Despite their impressive play this season Nashville might be the better opponent for the Blackhawks. With four games remaining and two against the Blues, the Blackhawks fate is in their hands.
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