May 23, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Antoine Vermette (80) and Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler (4) fight for the puck during the first overtime period in game four of the Western Conference Final of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Active sticks and cutting off space. Look, it’s old news that the Ducks are a bigger team than the ’Hawks. That obviously hasn’t led to Anaheim dominating Chicago in any discernible way. The ’Hawks, in this series, have generally used good on-ice positioning and active sticks to prevent Anaheim scoring chances. That was in full force in Game 4’s early stages. But as things moved along, the Ducks saw more open ice and had a little less trouble creating scoring chances.
Obviously, players get tired as a game wears on. Still, Chicago can’t let up on defense against a Ducks team that has several solid offense weapons. That was apparent for 37 terrible seconds Saturday. There was a third-period Anaheim attack that saw Corey Perry shoot the puck three or four times from right below the circles, relatively uncontested and into Corey Crawford. Things like that can’t happen if the ’Hawks want to win on the road (or anywhere). Feet and sticks need to keep moving for the ’Hawks. While the Ducks are making life tough for the ’Hawks with their physicality, the ’Hawks can make life difficult for the Ducks by doing the little things successfully. If they do, they’ll walk out of Honda Center with a victory tonight.
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