By: Pat Caputo
1. The Blackhawks are exceptionally talented overall, and they have been knocked on their collective heels by the Red Wings in the first three games of a Western Conference semifinal Stanley Cup playoff series. They will come out of the gate quickly, and likely carry play early in Game 4. The Red Wings must weather the storm, and strike back. Like always in the playoffs, getting the first goal is extremely important.
2. The Blackhawks aren’t going to goon it up. It isn’t their style. But look for them to play more physically than they did in the first three games. The Red Wings must be patient and not take foolish penalties in response.
3. Jimmy Howard must continue to play exceptionally well in Detroit’s goal. This is the type of series that may turn quickly because of an ill-timed soft goal.