Blackhawks Head Into Vancouver With Semi-Final Series Tied 1-1
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Blackhawks tied the Chicago-Vancouver series up 1-1 Monday night at the United Center by rallying back against a charged up Canucks team to take the win; 4-2. Chicago, 2nd in the standing head into game 3 against Vancouver, 3rd in the standings after 2 fast paced, high energy duels.
The Vancouver Canucks have started both games with the energy of 1,000 horses combined with 1,000 Spartans. The Canucks out skated the Blackhawks, out played the Blackhawks, out shot the Blackhawks, and out performed the Blackhawks when it comes to turnovers and giveaways. The Canucks could have easily won game 2 if it wasn't for the miraculous goal tending by Antti Niemi who literally was the anchor as the Blackhawks got ahold of themselves and stated playing playoff hockey.
The roller coaster post-season for the Blackhawks continues as the Hawks were caught off guard in an unmotivated and skill lacking performance in game 1. After a good ass beating the Hawks had a revelation and started to play like the Stanley Cup bound Blackhawks they were projected to be (well most of them). With some still inconsistent lines during the playoffs the Blackhawks have gaps in their performance that needs to be filled for the Hawks to take on the rest of the playoffs. One thing the Hawks know to be ready for the next 2 opponents, pending on a Hawks "W" over Vancouver, is that Niemi is our goalie and he is capable of being a Stanley Cup winner.
A couple things the Hawks will have to fix during the remaining games of the conference semi-finals; Giveaways, Turnovers, Passing, Skating, and Positions.
The Hawks are averaging 3x more giveaways than the Canucks during the series and Canucks have been taking great advantage over our poor judgment. The Hawks never have a problem being the faster of the 2 teams but they need to be fast and accurate, precise and aggressive, the Canucks are out for revenge after last year's meeting and they need to capitalize on every opportunity. The Hawks during the post season have struggled greatly when it comes to accurate and smart passing, to beat Vancouver's goalie Luongo they will need position themselves for more scoring chances. During mostly game 1 and the 1st period of game 2 then Hawks looked lost as Vancouver's Sedins' skated circles around the entire Blackhawks team, they need to be and stay the game controlling Hawks we saw during the regular season. Lastly, Keep aware of A)The puck but B) your position, the Canucks are great at creating real scoring opportunities and the Hawks defensemen need to be aware of who is around them, where they are, and be able to predict the Canuck's next move.
Tonight's game will sure be action-packed and full of energy as both teams will be playing (hopefully) some real playoff hockey. So throw on your favorite Hawk's jersey, grab a Miller Lite, and join in the chorus "Let's Go Hawks!" I'm ChiN8 and I want to thank you for following Windy City Sportz.