Stanley Cup Playoffs

Chicago Blackhawks: 3 Keys to Game 1 Against The Oilers

Dominik Kubalik #8, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Dominik Kubalik #8, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /
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Connor Murphy, Chicago Blackhawks
Connor Murphy #5, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /

Solid Defensive Play

A lot has been made by the Blackhawks’ aging defensive core over the years, but as we’ve seen, they’ve gotten a lot younger as they’ve rebuilt. Their oldest defensemen in Duncan Keith, with their youngest being Adam Boqvist. Those two players make up the first line.

The return of Calvin de Haan is exciting, as he played a big role in the success of the Carolina Hurricanes deep playoff run in 2019. He was on the second line with Connor Murphy for most of the exhibition game on Wednesday.

That last line will be interesting, as Olli Maatta will have a spot, but the decision between Slater Koekkoek, while Lucas Carlsson is there if Colliton wants to switch the two out.

For the most part, I like the lines on defense. I believe they showed great potential against the Blues and have a few things to tighten up to shut down the Oilers. It’s going to take a lot to shut down the powerhouse offense of the Oilers, but if anyone can, I believe it comes in those first two defensive pairings.

Forwards have to play their part too, but not playing overly defensive where their offensive is cut in half, as they play on the back foot worried about giving up goals. The Blackhawks can beat the Oilers, they’ve done it 2 times this season. If they can keep their defensive play in check, they can beat them three more times.