Blackhawks: How can Chicago stop Connor McDavid?
By Ryan Fedrau
If the Chicago Blackhawks expect to win any more games this series, they will have to figure out how to stop Connor McDavid.
The Chicago Blackhawks are in deep, deep trouble if they cannot find a way to stop Connor McDavid from scoring on them. He torched the Blackhawks in last night’s 6-3 loss, scoring a hat trick, effortlessly, tying the series up at 1.
McDavid was the fire behind the Oilers win on Monday night. He started off hot, scoring 19 seconds into the game. He kept that fire going, scoring another goal just a few minutes in to give the Oilers a 2-0 lead.
It’s really hard to start off games down 2-0, especially when it’s one player and he’s just getting warmed up. Well, McDavid was warmed up, and the Blackhawks need to find a way to cool him down long enough to steal the series from the Oilers.
Chicago will have an advantage in Game 3 and 4, as they get the last line change for faceoffs. They can matchup Jonathan Toews with McDavid as much as possible. Toews is Chicago’s best center, along with their best defensive forward. If Toews can win faceoffs off of McDavid and keep the puck away from him, Chicago automatically has a better chance of winning the game.
What happens when Toews is off of the ice? Chicago’s defense needs to tighten up. They cannot leave Corey Crawford out to dry. Crawford has struggled, the last thing he needs is to be forced to stand on his head against a powerhouse like the Oilers offense.
Keep Toews on McDavid, tighten up defensively, don’t be afraid to shift up the lines, and lastly, STAY OUT OF THE BOX. McDavid is a killer on the Power Play, along with the entire Oilers’ team. They’ve made Chicago’s Penalty Kill look terrible. Staying out of the box eliminates that.
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If Chicago can take advantage of the last change on the faceoffs, tighten up on defense, and stay out of the box, they can very well bounce back from what we saw on Monday and win Game 3. It’s not a long shot to expect a rebound game from them. Their core guys have waited a long time to get back, they won’t let this slide in 4 games.