Blackhawks Need Some Changes To Survive In Stanley Cup Playoffs
The Chicago Blackhawks fell into a serious hole in their Stanley Cup Playoffs first-round series Tuesday, dropping a 4-3 decision to the St. Louis Blues. The Blackhawks are now trailing 3-1 in the series with tomorrow’s Game 5 at Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
But the Blackhawks don’t have to be done just yet. Here are three things coach Joel Quenneville and his team can do to pull out the next three contests and move on.
3. Blend The Defense
For all of Quenneville’s infamous and expected mix and matching on the forward lines, he’s left his defensive ranks alone this series. This is upsetting because, as is, they are clearly not getting the job done.
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The Blackhawks’ blue line has been a concern all year long. Given the trade market, ‘Hawks GM Stan Bowman opted to double down on the offense, so now it’s on Q to best play out the defensive hand he’s been dealt, and thus far he’s been relatively unsuccessful.
So now, with the ‘Hawks on the brink, Q-stache needs to be uncharacteristically creative on D. Yes, he doesn’t have the best options, but at the very least he needs to depart from his current defensive modus operandi.
Put Duncan Keith with Michal Rozsival, Niklas Hjalmarsson with Erik Gustafsson, etc. Yes, these are minor tweaks, but there is little else that can be done considering how poorly the defense is playing. At best, such changes are temporary fixes, but they will be fixes and their immediate longevity doesn’t matter when you’re surviving one game at a time.
Next: What is The #2 Fix?