Sunday, May 3, 2015

PLAYOFFS: Blackhawks vs. Wild 4-1
Game 2 Win Recap

Smooth Criminal
by Patrick Stankus

On Sunday night in Chicago, the Blackhawks and Wild took to the ice for Game 2 of their best of 7 series in the Western Conference Semi Final playoff matchup. Despite their Game 1 win on Friday night, some in Chicago, wanted to poke around and make up a goalie controversy because Crawford yielded 3 goals in Game 1. Any questions of a controversy were put to rest on Sunday, as Corey Crawford rose up to the occasion, and proved his doubters wrong once again. (This guy backs away quietly.)

The opening frame got off to a sluggish start with sloppy play dictating early on. As the period went on, chances were at a premium, but the best belonged to the Wild. Corey Crawford made an excellent point blank chance on Thomas Vanek to keep the Wild off the score board. Just before the midway point of the period, the Hawks were awarded a gift goalie interference call against Vanek. As is the case with the power play, and momentum the Hawks had was killed by a lackluster 2 minute man advantage. As the horn sounded ending play, the game was scoreless after one.

The second period featured a little more open play, thus making for a bit more excitement. While shorthanded, due to an Andrew Shaw cross checking penalty, Marian Hossa stole the puck from Ryan Suter, and centered a pass to Jonathan Toews, who beat Devan Dubnyk to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead. Despite the lead, the Wild would fight back right after the Toews goal, but a sequence of point blank saves by Crawford kept the Wild off the scoreboard. As the period went on, turnovers would prove to be costly again for the Wild. In the final minute of the period, Duncan Keith stole the puck at the Hawks blueline, and fed Patrick Kane with a long stretch pass, which resulted in Kane firing a twisted wrister past Dubnyk to increase the Hawks lead to 2-0 following two periods of play.

As the third period got underway, the Hawks were forced to kill off a carry over penalty that Michal Rozsival took with two minutes remaining in the 2nd period. As is always the case with bad penalties, the Hawks PK couldn't come through and Matt Dumba cut the Hawks lead in half on a wrist shot that Crawford should have stopped. To the Hawks credit though, the weathered the push back from the Wild, and just under 8 minutes into the period, they'd answer back. Teravainen made a nice chip of the puck off the boards in the neutral zone to Patrick Sharp, who skated into the Wild zone, and fired a wrist shot past Dubnyk to increase the Hawks lead to 3-1. With just over 2 minutes remaining Patrick Kane sealed the deal with an empty netter, and gave the Hawks a 4-1 lead that would prove to be the final score of Game 2.

The Good
- As hard as I've been on Duncan Keith of late, tonight he deserves a lot of praise. He was excellent all night long in all three zones for the Hawks. He ended the night with 1 assist, +4, and 30:12 TOI.
- Aside from the Dumba goal, Corey Crawford was fantastic in net. He made several point blank saves on the Wild in the 1st and 2nd period. All in all, it was a solid night in net for #50.
- Teuvo Teravainen in limited ice time proved once again to be a difference maker on the ice. If there was anyone who thinks Versteeg should be in the lineup instead of Teuvo, you clearly aren't watching these guys play. Its not even close, Teravainen is the better player, and shouldn't be in the press box. Now if Quenneville would only give him some power play time.
- Its an old cliche', but sometimes your start players need to be your best players on the ice. Tonight was the case. The goal scorers for the Hawks were; Toews, Kane (2), and Sharp. Honorable mentions also go to Keith and Hossa.
- Credit to Gate for this one. After watching Vermette play of late, its hard to believe this guy was a scratch earlier in the playoffs.

The Bad
- While tonight he wasn't terrible, Kimmo Timonen is a liability for the Hawks. Going forward the Hawks cannot rely this heavily on their top 4 defensemen. Tonight Timonen played 6:57, while Keith, Seabrook, Oduya, and Hjalmarsson all played over 20 minutes. That's playing with fire.
- It wouldn't be a recap if Michal Rozsival didn't make it in here. Once again a bad penalty by him, and the puck ends up in the back of the net on the ensuing penalty kill. Eventhough it was a lazy interference penalty, the goal was still one that Crawford should have had. Nevertheless, the goal never happens if Rozsival doesn't take the penalty.
- In the 3rd period, Corey Crawford took a Marco Scandella slap shot, off the mask, and looked like he was on waffle street afterward. Following a couple of moments of looking out of it, Crawford was able to bounce back and finish the game. It definitely was a time to hold your breath though.

The Ugly
- Ryan Suter had a Michal Rozsival type of night. He had a turnover that resulted in a Hawks goal, and ended up the night a -3. Woof.
- Lets keep it positive tonight, and move along to Game 3 that comes our way on Tuesday night.


Shoutcast Player


Facebook Page

Blog Archive