Blackhawks: Can Chicago’s Offense Match-Up with McDavid and Draisaitl?

Duncan Keith #2, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
Duncan Keith #2, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /
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Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Jonathan Toews #19, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /

Potential Match-Ups

The decision of the matchups between Dave Tippet and Jeremy Colliton will be a chess match. The experience and the fact Tippet gets three “home games” where he gets the last change is why he will have a slight advantage over Colliton.

If I had to guess the first lines will match up against each other. The Oilers outpace the Blackhawks there with McDavid and the Blackhawks will want it to have their experience and captain out there against the first line. The Blackhawks will throw out the fourth line against them a few times to try to have their top two lines get better matchups.

The Oilers will probably want their second line to be against the third line of the Blackhawks. The Oilers have the second part of their two-headed monster in Drasital against a young, inexperienced line of Dach, DeBrincat, and Caggiula. The Blackhawks won’t want that but with the improvement, Dach has shown and the fact they have been preparing for it as they matched them against the Kane line in scrimmages the Hawks could be in a strong situation to shut down that line as well.

The Blackhawks will want the Dach and Kane line to battle against the bottom two lines to develop the offense. Expect when the Blackhawks have the last chance to have 1st line versus 1st line, 2nd line versus one of the bottom two lines, 3rd line versus the other of the bottom two lines, and the 4th line against the 2nd line.  This will allow the lines they want to develop the offense have the chance to avoid the top two lines where they will have to play in the defensive zone more than wanted.

light. Related Story. Corey Crawford looked solid in exhibition game vs Blues

The Oilers will be dependent on the top lines producing goals against a weak defensive group. The Blackhawks will be depending on their young players’ producing in their first playoff experience and Corey Crawford to stand on his head as he has in prior playoffs. The series will be close and I would expect it to go to five games. The Blackhawks are currently +145 to win the series; this team right now has great offensive depth and an all-time goalie, it might just be enough to win it.