1. Solve Freddy. Anaheim goalie Frederik Andersen has been very good this postseason. He has only allowed three even-strength goals by the Blackhawks in more than 236 minutes. That is truly amazing when you consider he is up against one of the most talented teams in the entire NHL. But the Blackhawks have not made his life difficult. He has seen most of what he’s stopped, and there haven’t been a lot of tip plays in front of his net. Take away his eyes with screens and get him moving side-to-side in front with passes. He is a patient goalie, but once he moves laterally from post to post he has a tough time recovering.
2. Power play must improve. There's no secret to the Hawks power play when they are having success: shots from the middle of the ice, traffic in front, and good puck retrievals. None of that was evident last game where the home team managed just one shot in a little more than 9 minutes of power-play time. Penalty killers love when you move the puck around the perimeter with short passes; it’s an easy adjustment to stay between the puck and the net. The Ducks have had 84 blocked shots in three games, so you know they are willing to sacrifice in this area. Limit your passes, shoot early and often, and make sure you are getting to loose pucks off those shots.
[MORE GAME 4: Vermette, Teuvo back on Blackhawks' third line]
3. Stars need to shine. The Blackhawks offense has been relatively quiet in this series and as a result, so have their stars.Yes, Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane have scored goals, but Hossa’s was off the stick of a defender and Kane’s was off a broken play. Jonathan Toews, Kane, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook each have just one assist (Patrick Sharp doesn’t have any). That has to change in order for the Blackhawks to get to the next round. You need your best players to be your best players, and that hasn’t happened yet for Chicago. Get the big guns to come out when the lights are shining brightest.