Stanley Cup Playoffs

Blackhawks: 3 Keys to Game 1 Against the Golden Knights

Corey Crawford #50, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Corey Crawford #50, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Blackhawks
(Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /

The Blackhawks’ powerplay was not too overwhelming going 4-for-18 against the Oilers. The powerplay was at its worst during their only loss going 0/4 in game two. In what was a 6-3 loss, a goal or two on the powerplay changes the complexion of that game, and maybe the Blackhawks have a chance in that game. Vegas is solid both defensively and in net and are unlikely to give up as many even-strength opportunities as the Oilers. This will make any powerplays crucial.

As I already mentioned the Blackhawks need to get Kane going. He has yet to score on the powerplay and has only provided one powerplay point so far.  Other players like Toews and Dominik Kubalik have done well to provide their fair share on the powerplay each with two goals and an assist. However, powerplay success will be nowhere near guaranteed. The Knights held the offensively gifted Avalanche to one powerplay goal on six attempts in the last round-robin game for each team.

One of the brightest spots of Chicago’s game is their penalty kill which was one of the primary reasons they won game four. The Blackhawks went 5/5 on the penalty kill against the regular season’s top powerplay team. Vegas comes into the first round as the sixth-best team on the powerplay trailing four spots behind Edmonton.

This means the Blackhawks will have to keep their penalty kill just as effective as it was in the qualifiers. At the end of the day, the best thing the Blackhawks can do is stay out of the box as Crawford will already be busy during 5-on-5 play.