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NHL Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Final Notes: Chapter One

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re reading this, congratulations, you’ve survived Game 1 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final! It took three overtimes, two deflections and Andrew Shaw’s declaration of love for shinpads for the Chicago Blackhawks to finally win the first game against the Boston Bruins. The winning goal was scored at exactly midnight in Chicago, but no one turned into a pumpkin.

Aside from the fact that the game could’ve counted as two, Brandon Saad scored his first career playoff goal. You can attribute to whatever you want, but I firmly believe that the fact that he got his fourth stripe in that hideous mullet of his had something to do with it. Looks like Patrick Kane isn’t the only one fueled by mullet power.

After that marathon game, what could the Blackhawks do to improve their game? The biggest thing is to actually not do something. Early on in the game, you could see the Blackhawks trying to be the aggressor, getting more physical than usual. While they have some guys on the team who could match the Bruins physically, the Bruins are counting on them to do that. That’s how Milan Lucic scored his first goal of the evening: Niklas Hjalmarsson was more concerned about a hit than the puck and lost it. That’s what doomed the Pittsburgh Penguins and led to them being swept.

The power play is just a hot mess. It’s deader than a parrot that’s nailed to its perch and pining for the fjords. Too much passing and not enough shooting made the Bruins’ penalty kill look even better than it is. The Blackhawks need to switch up the units and get moving, because it looks like they’re just killing their own power play at this point.

One last thing is that the Blackhawks really need a net presence around Tuukka Rask because he gave up some choice rebounds that slipped away. Rebounds can turn into goals, and that’s what the game’s all about. The Blackhawks need to pay attention to those rebounds and grab them.

Game 2 is mere hours away. After losing in overtime, the odds of the Blackhawks taking the second game are not in their favor. Hopefully they can change their game plan and their luck.