This is a huge game for both The Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks. For the Red Wings, a Game 4 win would mean complete control of the series and only needed to win at home in Game 6. For the Blackhawks, a win would return their home ice advantage and force the Red Wings to win one more at the United Center to move on.
There is a ton of pressure with this game. The Red Wings have been playing under pressure for some time now. The Blackhawks on the other hand have not had adversity to dealt with this season. The Blackhawks were far and away the best team in the NHL this weekend. But we Detroit fans know all to well that regular season dominance does not always translate into regular season success.
It seems any team needs to have adversity to sharpen their competitive edge. Teams need to overcome a major obstacle to prove they can still win. A losing streak or major injuries often test a team metal. The Red Wings have had an entire season of adversity. The Blackhawks have had a season of tranquility.
Weathering the Storm
The Blackhawks will come to play tonight. They will be hitting hard and trying to lure the Wings into the penalty box. If the Red Wings keep from taking the bait and stay out of the penalty box, they have a great opportunity to crush any Blackhawks momentum. An early lead would also ignite the Joe Louis crowd and help bring more pressure down on the visiting Blackhawks.
Keys To Victory
- Stay out of the penalty box – The Blackhawks will try to irritate the Wings with cross checks, cheap shots and taking runs at Jimmy Howard. The Wings must not take the bait and avoid handing the Hawks a power play.
- Play within themselves – The Red Wings young stars have matured this series. However they must guard against the tendency to do too much. That usually leads to turnovers.
- Control the blue line – When the Blackhawks want to bring the puck into the Red Wing zone they must pay the price. The Wings need to shrink the ice and disrupt any momentum the Blackhawks attempt to bring into the zone.
You can catch the game on the NBC Sports Network starting at 8:00 pm. Keep checking with Detroit Jock City for all the latest Red Wings playoff news an views.