Hawks need to create problems for Howard
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Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, right, has plenty of confidence after three straight victories over the Blackhawks. The Hawks need a Game 5 win to avoid elimination.
Q. Simply put, how do the Blackhawks get the offense going?
A. When a goalie is hot and playing with a lot of confidence, you have to take away his sight lines, you have to create traffic and make it hard on him.
Q. Are they shooting in the wrong areas?
A. When you're looking for the second and third opportunities, the shots have to be low on the ice. If you get them up in the midsection, it's in a position where the goaltender can make the save and not allow a rebound.
An example was a shot from Nick Leddy that was down on the ice. It created second and third opportunities and created some chaos.
Q. Is there enough traffic in general in front of Jimmy Howard?
A. Obviously there's not. Whatever you're doing is not good enough right now.
They've scored 2 goals in the last three games and for that you have to give a ton of credit to Detroit for the way they're protecting the area in front of the net. They've got a lot of bodies down there, getting sticks in the passing lanes and blocking shots when they have to.
Whatever you have to do to get through that high traffic area, you have to do a better job because at this point it's not good enough.
Q. Are the Red Wings in the Hawks' heads?
A. I wouldn't say in their head but they have the upper hand in this series — mentally. They've been able to do things that have quieted the Blackhawks' production.
Obviously they're feeling pretty confident right now in the way they're playing.
Q. For Blackhawks' fans who are on the ledge, what would you tell them?
A. Hopefully there's a belief inside this locker room that they're going to be able to come back.
To me, they didn't have a full complement of players playing the way they needed to play in Game 4 and yet they were only down by one goal — and that was a power play goal.
So there is optimism to believe that this team, if it plays up to its potential, can get back in this series.
•Troy 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 career games.
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