Friday, May 10, 2013

Playoffs: Blackhawks vs Wild
Game 5 Series Finale Win Recap

"Five Magics"

The Blackhawks returned to Chicago, Thursday night for their first chance at moving on to the second round, since the spring of 2010. We all remember how that went. Anyhow, the Blackhawks seem to be the recipients of some fortunate opponent injuries, more specifically, the Wild goalies. In game 4, their original backup, Josh Harding, was hurt and their 3rd string goalie, Darcy Keumper, was forced into action. The Wild never really stood a chance after that. The Blackhawks played just well enough leave St. Paul splitting the two games there 1-1. That's good enough for me. First try at elimination tonight. Live from the United Center in Chicago, it's the Blackhawks and the Wild.

The Wild came out with an honest and great effort, tying the Blackhawks in shots 10-10. Even with their effort and a stupid Hawks penalty, the Wild weren't able to put anything into the net. The Hawks, on the other hand, scored the only goal in the first period. On the way to round two or a Wild comeback?

The wheels fell off the cart, and it burst into flames, for the Wild in the second period. They were able to score a goal to break the shutout, but the Blackhawks scored THREE goals to break any momentum. That is just a hole that an 8th seed can't recover from. The Hawks out shot Minny pretty handily, 13-8.

The third period was really academic, because the Hawks were well out in front and in control. They actually didn't take their foot off the gas, though, and were still able to add a 5th goal on 10 shots while holding the Wild to a measly 4 shots. The Wild were like a beaten dog all period long, and I can't say they were ever a threat in the series. On to round 2.

The Good

  • El Capitan decided to make an appearance for game 5, chasing down a Seabrook dump in, and dropping it off to Hossa at the left dot in the Wild zone. Hossa immediately snapped the puck past Harding on the short side. Bang bang play with about 5 minutes left in the first period, and the crowd was sensing a celebration.
  • Dream Warrior Marcus Kruger raced into the Wild zone and beat the defense to a dump in behind the net, just over three minutes into the second period. He immediately wrapped the puck around the far post and beat a very late late to the post Josh Harding. You have to think that Harding's tardiness had to do with his injury from the previous game because he was not moving well at all.
  • Hossa scored his second of the game just over three minutes after the Kruger goal. Hoss just took the puck from behind the net and strongly drove across the crease with a defender all over him. His first shot was saved by Harding, but the rebound was pushed around Harding's left leg. He is Marian Hossa, and you simply are not! Again, Harding looked to be limited by his mysterious injury from the previous game. That ended Josh Harding's night and season. The boy named Darcy then entered the game, for the Hawks to feast on.
  • Thirty five seconds after Mitchell broke the shutout, Shaw picked up a puck that was shot to the short side of the net by Bickell. The puck shot back out past the far post where Shaw was camping out. I'm not really sure why Kuemper slid to follow a puck that was going 2 feet wide of the net, but thank you. This made him very slow getting over to the far post, and Shaw had an open net. Might have been the biggest goal of the game, with the Wild just starting to gain some momentum.
  • Mr Handsome fought El Capitan in front of the Wild net for a third period 5-on-3 Duncan Keith rebound, in front of Darcy Kuemper. Once he finally got a hold of the puck, Sharp chipped it into the net over Kuemper. If the game wasn't iced already, and it was, this goal was the final nail in the coffin.
  • The Blackhawks were 17 for 17 on the penalty kill in the series. That is huge!
  • For the second time in the series, Bryan Bickell freight trained a Wild player. This time the unfortunate victim was Tom Gilbert. Where has this Bryan Bickell been, and why are we just now meeting him?
  • Following the STUPID faceoff violation penalty, Crawford made an enormous save on Koivu sliding across the net and kicking out what looked like a sure goal.
  • Carcillo played his second game of the series and was slotted where he belongs, the 4th line. That I can live with, even though Ben Smith would bring more to the table.
The Bad

  • The Wild's Torrey Mitchell broke the shutout about halfway through the second period immediately following another successful Blackhawks penalty kill. Handzus and the rest of the crew fell asleep after patting themselves on the back following the PK, and let Mitchell sneak into the soft spot in the slot. Crawford really didn't have much of a chance to react. Meh, whatever. All that Wild fun and excitement would last exactly 35 seconds.
  • Kruger and Handzus were bitch slapped at the dots once again, helping drag the team totals under the 50% mark. This Handzus thing might have run it's course, which would be a perfect time for Bolland to get his ass on the ice and do something other than suck the life out of his linemates.
The Ugly

  • I need someone to ask Quenneville just how in the hell the Hawks have gotten TWO faceoff voilation penalties this year. I have NEVER seen that called before this season. Ridiculous rule, completely subjective, and pointless. The Wild spent all of game 4 cheating the faceoffs, and weren't even as much as warned, but Stalberg moving a half second early earns them a penalty?
  • Mouth breathing cementheat Mike Rupp earned himself a 2 and 10 after the game was well out of hand. There is that sandpaper, again. Did a helluva lot of good didn't it, eh?

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