Western Conference Playoffs Round 1 vs. St Louis: Game 3

  If you were in the same condition as I was waking up yesterday morning, you were thinking to yourself the following: 

1. Why does my head hurt so much?

2. How did the Blackhawks pull that one off last night?

3. Why did Ken Hitchcock challenge a challenge?

While the answers to these questions range in simplicity, it was easy to predict the immediate impact Duncan Keith would have returning to the Blackhawks lineup. Not only did Keith save the Hawks’ collective bacon three or four times in the first two periods, he scored the Hawks’ first goal of the series to tie the game and skated 31 minutes during Game 2. 

Corey Crawford has been excellent so far. The Blackhawks have done a good job of limiting the number of high-danger chances for the Blues, but there have been at least three or four saves that Crawford has made that you could say that Scott Darling would not have. As the Hawks start to figure out how to get some more pucks past Blues goalie Brian Elliott, let’s hope Crow keeps up his strong play. 

 Coming back home with the series tied, Joel Quenneville should be able to get the matchups he wants. Hopefully he can find a way to get Teuvo Teravainen and his third line going, because they’ve been largely invisible so far. There has been a question as to whether or not Teuvo is ready for the task of playing center in the playoffs and if he’d be better off at the wing. Either way, the Blackhawks could use some scoring from their bottom-six forwards, so Teuvo is going to have to step up if he wants to stay in the lineup. 

A Game 2 win was a relief for Blackhawks fans. There’s no reason to think that the Hawks can’t figure out a way to get through this series. A dominant win at home would provide a huge mental edge for the Hawks as the Blues have been known to fold as the pressure gets tighter. The Hawks have yet to even look fazed to this point, so they should be able to get into their opponents heads and get a W today.


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