Q. While the penalty killing has been stellar this series, the power play has been far from it. What can be done, and how much of a concern is that?
A. It’s a concern. With the power play you have a chance to take a stranglehold, but the Blackhawks haven’t been able to get it done.
Sometimes you can have good power plays and you’re able to generate momentum off it, but when you’re struggling, you’re not creating any chances and you’re not getting any shots. That can be a momentum killer. So they’ve got to turn that around.
With the PK, first of all you can’t take the amount of penalties they did Tuesday and expect to win. You have to stay out of the penalty box.
But boy you have to appreciate what the PK has done — not only in this series, but in this entire season.
Q. Do you see Corey Crawford’s performance thus far as a breakthrough?
A. He’s been good all season. At the start of the season there were questions whether goaltending was going to be one of the places where they might have some inconsistency. It hasn’t been all year.
The next step was to move it into the playoffs and be successful in the postseason, and Corey so far has been absolutely phenomenal.
If you’re going to put yourself in the penalty problems the Blackhawks have in this series, your goaltender has to come through and Corey Crawford has done that.
Q. You’ve been in a lot of potential series-clinching games. What’s the key heading into Game 5?
A. You have to look at it as a do-or-die game for you, too.
You look at a couple of years ago against Vancouver; they were up 3-0 and Blackhawks took it one period at a time, one game at a time — every cliché in the book — but that really is the truth of the matter.
Minnesota’s just going to say, ‘Look guys, let’s just give it everything we have.’
In every game there’s always a breaking point. Last year we saw it against Phoenix in Game 6 at the United Center. There was a breaking point where the Blackhawks lost their will in some ways.
You have to be able to push the pace, push the tempo — push it to the limit until you get to that point.
ŸTroy Murray is in his 13th year as a member of the Blackhawks broadcast team and his eighth year as the color analyst for the team’s radio broadcasts. The Selke Award winner was a five-time 20-goal scorer and a veteran of 15 years in the NHL, playing in 915 games.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.