Send a McRib to #Fatrick
The Blackhawks started the second half on their current six game road trip in Minnesota to take on the Wild, and not the North Stars. The folks at NBCSN would beg to differ though when it comes to what team currently plays in Minnesota. I mean I like the idea of rivalry night, but come on. Stop shoving this fake news that the Wild are as big of a rival as the North Stars were. I'm watching the NHL on NBCSN, not the NHL on CNN. Anyway, onto more important things. After three days off, and a quick stop at home, tonight marked the beginning of three games in four nights for the Hawks before being sent away on a bye week. Wait, a bye week? In hockey? Seriously, what the hell is that?Whatever. There's bigger things to look at, starting with tonight's game. No literally, look at the size of Bruce Boudreau behind Minnesota's bench.
With the hype of Rivalry Night over, the game finally got underway, following a slobbering love fest interview of Eric Staal by Pierre McGuire. If Pierre was that gaga over Staal now, imagine if he saw Staal in his prime. The opening minutes were full of what you'd expect from a team coming off a back to back and the other an extended break, sluggish to say the least. As the period went on, the Hawks found their legs and took advantage of it. Midway through the period, Ryan Hartman opened the scoring for the Hawks with his thirteenth goal of the season to give the Hawks the early lead. Down the stretch of the period, the Hawks withstood an attack from the Wild, but Crawford stood, and after twenty minutes, the Hawks led 1-0.
Unlike the first period, the second period had much more pace to the game. In the opening two minutes, both teams scored to make it a 2-1 game. Following the goal by Spurgeon, the Wild had all the momentum and looked to erase that once two goal deficit. Seven minutes into the period, Zach Parise scored on a play that would be challenged by the Hawks to see if the play was offside. After a lengthy delay, the goal stood, and the Wild tied the game at two. With all the momentum on their side, the Wild left the door open for the Hawks. As the minutes wound down in the second period, #DickFuckingPanik, made the Wild pay and gave the Hawks a 3-2 lead with two minutes remaining in the period. Despite a last minute chance, the Hawks couldn't tack on another, and after forty minutes, they took a one goal lead into the third period.
In the third period, the fatigue of the Wild looked as if it was starting to show. As we've seen of late with the Hawks in the third period, they weren't able to take advantage of the situation. They let the Wild hang around, just like they've let just about every team they've played lately. Luckily, the Hawks were able to survive a penalty by Rasmussen, midway through, and they continued to hold onto the lead. That good feeling didn't last too long though. With just over three minutes remaining, the Wild tied the game at three, and thus, the game headed to overtime. In the extra frame, both teams had their usual odd man rushes thanks to the 3 on 3 format, but neither could score to end the silliness early. Thankfully, Ryan Suter took a penalty, to give the Hawks a power play two and a half minutes in. Thank the Lord, the Hawks capitalized on the chance, and The Captain scored to give the Hawks a 4-3 win over the Wild.
- Ryan Hartman continues to impress this season. Tonight he opened the scoring with his third goal in as many games.
- Jonathan Toews had a Jonathan Toews type of night. One goal, two assists. I'll take it. I mean that's what washed up players look like, right?
- #DickFuckingPanik scored his twelfth goal of the season. Remember when the meatballs said he wouldn't score double digits? Yeah that was amusing.
- Vinnie Hinostroza quietly had a solid game. In addition to a couple of nice plays, he also picked up an assist.
- Corey Crawford was good in regulation tonight, but in the overtime he was absolutely outstanding. He had a great save on a breakaway by Suter, and a sliding save on a 2 on 1.
- Nobody is complaining that Andrew Desjardins was scratched tonight. I swear, no one is.
- Shockingly in a tight game like this, no one was in Q's doghouse, and the ice time was spread out nicely for the Hawks.
- Michal Kempny's lack of awareness on ice was on full display on Jared Spurgeon's goal. Once again Kempny got caught out of position, this time too far to the middle of the ice, and allowed Spurgeon all the time and space in the world. Again, this is not an NHL defenseman folks. He's struggling mightily to adapt to the difference ice in North America.
- Brent Seabrook had a rough night tonight. Ever since he started wearing a visor last season, Seabrook has looked off. I find it hard someone can just fall that far to being an average defenseman.
- Minnesota recorded nineteen shots in the second period. Yikes. Lets tighten up that defense.
- All this talk with the NHL about "making the game more exciting" is complete and utter bullshit. Before we start dicking around with the size of the nets, how about we make the game "more exciting" by you know, actually scheduling games. The stupidity of the NHL schedule makers was on full display, as the Hawks/Wild game was the only game in the league tonight. There's a prime opportunity to showcase the league now that the NFL is done, and the NHL had a big whiff tonight.
- Someone really needs to inform NBCSN that the Wild are not the Minnesota North Stars. Seriously, stop it.
- I hope everyone enjoyed that lengthy review that still seemed to get the call incorrect in the second period. Again, my opinion on it is, I hate replay, I wish it would go away. That opinion doesn't change even though it looks like it burned the Hawks tonight. So be it. The only thing replay is good at is killing the momentum of the game.
- Speaking of replay, I'm tired of people not understanding when it comes to overturning a call, that you can't assume what is going on with the puck, play, or player in question. Sure it looks like Parise is offside on the play that was challenged. But the problem is, it looks as if the puck touches Coyle's stick before for Parise's skate touches the blueline. Read that again. "IT LOOKS AS IF." Those are the key words. That's not the definition of conclusive evidence. Maybe those blueline cameras aren't the saving grace after all. As much as the play looks offside, I'm perfectly fine with the play being called inconclusive.
- Not to be outdone by his shining performance on Spurgeon's goal, Kempny had a brutal pinch later in the second period that backfired on him. I mean it only led to a 2 on 1 for the Wild.
- Live look at Bruce Boudreau following Toews' overtime winner.