Tuesday, May 5, 2015

PLAYOFFS: Blackhawks vs. Wild
Game 3
1-0 Shutout Win Recap

Been Caught Stealing
by Patrick Stankus

The Blackhawks and Wild continued their best of seven series on Tuesday night with Game 3 taking place in the Twin Cities. Much of the hype that was built up leading up to the game was from Pierre McGuire's slobbering love affair with how loud the Minnesota crowd is. (Hey Pierre, I dare you to call a game from the 300 Level at The UC.) Anyway, enough about that cue ball head, the Blackhawks had the opportunity to put a stranglehold on the series with a win, and hopefully end the media driven talk of a goalie controversy.

Early on in the 1st period, the Hawks weathered the storm of the momentum the Wild had, as evident by the Hawks registering their first shot nearly 6 minutes in. The Wild had the chance to jump out to an early lead, while on the power play, courtesy of an Antoine Vermette penalty. This time the penalty kill came through and shifted the momentum in favor of the Hawks. The Hawks themselves had a chance on the power play later in the period, and this time the team with the man advantage made them pay. Patrick Kane scored off a pass from Andrew Shaw, and beat Dubnyk with a soft goal through the five hole. After 20 minutes, the Hawks would have a 1-0 lead.

As the second period began, it became fairly obvious that goals were going to be hard to come by. The Hawks were able to kill off a Bryan Bickell interference penalty just past the midway point of the period. Despite the great defense that was being played in front of him, it was very apparent that Corey Crawford was in the zone. He stopped Mikael Granlund on a breakaway after Hjalmarsson was caught chasing the puck. Also in the period he made a great left pad save on the goal line to keep the Wild off the scoreboard and the Hawks in the lead after two periods.

The third period mirror that of the latter half of the 2nd period. It was the Corey Crawford show. End of story. Once again, the Hawks were forced to kill off a Wild power play, and in the process killed the momentum of the Wild. The Hawks did get a great scoring opportunity early in the period, but Brad Richards rang a shot off the crossbar. As the period wound down, the Hawks withstood a flurry of action by the Wild, but it was too little too late. Despite getting a couple of looks at an empty net, the Hawks couldn't pot one, but in the end still held on for the 1-0 win and in the process take a commanding 3-0 series lead.

The Good
- 30 shots, 30 saves for Corey Crawford. He was flat out in the zone tonight, and stole this game for the Hawks. Yes, he apparently can do that.
- Even though it was an odorous goal on Dubnyk's part, Patrick Kane's glove are just a little warm right now. Its hard to believe this guy is coming off a significant shoulder injury with how great he has been of late.
- For how critical we are of Michal Rozsival's play, we need to give him some praise when he deserves it. Tonight he had a strong game. We'll leave it at this, no mistakes by #32 makes for a good day.
- The special teams also had a great night. The power play was 1 for 1, while the penalty kill, killed off all 3 Minnesota power plays.
- The Hawks dominated the Wild at the dot, 37-22.

The Bad
- The hit on Patrick Kane in the 1st period was borderline on being a boarding penalty, but the biggest part of the hit was watching Kane labor on the ice for a few moments afterward. All in all though it was disaster averted.
- Speaking of bad hits, Bickell is lucky he didn't shred his knee into thousands of pieces after being tripped up by Jared Spurgeon in the 1st period.
- Despite blocking 19 shots (good), the Hawks did allow 30 to the Wild. For some reason it just seems too high for my comfort.

The Ugly
- Kimmo Timonen and his 5:44 of ice time. This is becoming an embarrassment.
- Matt Cooke and his disgusting face.


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