Blackhawks: 3 Takeaways from Game 3 against Oilers

Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /

Takeaway #2: Simplicity is Key

Throughout the entire series, a lot of gritty goals have been scored by the Blackhawks. If the Hawks are able to get traffic in front of the goal and get pucks on the net, then good things are bound to happen. This was a big reason that Chicago was able to walk away victorious in tonight’s matchup.

As I mentioned earlier, Olli Maatta scored for the second consecutive game. Dach had a brilliant screen, and Matthew Highmore was also in the vicinity of the goaltender. With two bodies in front, it gave Koskinen a very difficult task to track the shot from the point.

The second goal for Chicago was also scored in a scrappy fashion. Jonathan Toews was able to redirect the puck into the net after a net mouth scramble. What caused the net mouth scramble? A strong net-front presence by Dominik Kubalik and a passing play that originated from the point.

Matthew Highmore’s first career playoff goal knotted the score up at 3 with only five minutes left in the game. It was nice to see the fourth line get involved on a tally. And how did this goal happen? Maatta was able to swing the puck over to Slater Koekkoek, who unloaded a shot from the point. Highmore was in the high slot area and had a very pretty redirect to elevate the puck over Koskinen’s left shoulder and into the back of the net.

The game-winning goal was a deflection goal as well. After Toews was able to win an offensive zone draw and drop it back to Duncan Keith, Connor Murphy fired a weak wrister at the net. Captain Serious was standing in front of Koskinen and got a deflection on the puck that caused it to allude to the goaltender. It was another great example of how to perfectly screen a goaltender.

I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but it just goes to show that this strategy and game plan has been very effective at generating offense in the series.