Analyzing the defensive play of the Blackhawks in Game 3

Slater Koekkoek #68, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Slater Koekkoek #68, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /

In Game 3, the Chicago Blackhawks held the Edmonton Oilers to 3 goals. In the third period, their defense was lights out.

Can we quickly give a shoutout to the Chicago Blackhawks defense during the third period? They helped out Corey Crawford big time, along with being involved with the game-winning goal, as Connor Murphy shot the puck that was deflected, which went in.

During the first two games, defensive hockey wasn’t a thing for either team. 19 goals were scored between the two teams, with the Blackhawks giving up 10 of those goals. They also didn’t have much of an answer for Connor McDavid. He had his way with the Blackhawks in Games 1 and 2.

In Game 3, Chicago was aggressive. They were all over McDavid, they stayed on top of him like glue. Jonathan Toews played a big role, keeping McDavid out of the game when Toews was on the ice. Of course, McDavid still had a goal, but he didn’t do enough to win the game.

There were some slip-ups. Two of the three goals Crawford gave up, the defense was partly to blame. Turning the puck over in your own end isn’t ideal if you want to win hockey games at any level. Still, they made up for their mistakes with lights out defense in the third period.

When it came down to crunch time, this defense stepped up. There needs to be a huge thank you to Slater Koekkoek. That dude is crazy! He was all over McDavid when he had the chance to be. He played aggressively and was strong on his edges. He’s improved a lot from the regular season to the playoffs.

Duncan Keith is still a tank. People don’t give him enough credit. I think all of his production is just expected out of him, but people forget that he is 37-years-old. He’s still producing at a high level at 37, that’s just insane.

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There’s still a lot of work to do, but if the Blackhawks can play as well defensively as they did during the third period in Game 4, they’ll have a real heck of a chance of closing out the series in 4 games.