Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Blackhawks vs. Wild 2-1 Loss Recap


by Patrick Stankus

The Blackhawks finally returned home to The UC on Tuesday after their marathon 6 game annual "Circus Trip." Waiting for the Hawks was the Minnesota Wild, fresh off another Mike Yeo f-bomb infused rant during practice yesterday. (I had no idea my brother had such a potty mouth.) The Hawks are coming off a game on Saturday, which saw them blow a 2 goal lead in the 3rd period in Los Angeles, so that should be enough motivation to not lay an egg in their return to Chicago.

As soon as the puck dropped it was quite obvious that one team was ready to go and one wasn't. Minnesota had the response Mike Yeo was looking for and came out with a lot of energy and intensity. The Wild didn't waste anytime in putting the puck in the back of the net, as it only took them just over 4 minutes to grab the lead. The Hawks would have a few chances here and there, but for the most part, they were outplayed by the Wild and were lucky to only trail by one after the opening 20 minutes.

As the second period got underway, the Hawks showed improvement following their effort in the first period. It didn't take Patrick Kane long to extend his points streak either. Five minutes into the period, Kane let a soft shot go that beat Devan Dubnyk on the power play to tie the game at one. The Hawks would have one more chance on the power play, but couldn't convert. The final 10 minutes of the period, the Hawks spent the majority of on the penalty kill. Luckily the PK came through all three times, and at the end of 40 minutes, the game was tied at one.

The third period was similar to the first period for the Hawks. The Hawks had some chances, but throughout the period and the game for that matter, it looked like the Hawks were missing that killer instinct. The Wild would capitalize on a lazy backcheck by the Hawks just past the midway point of the period. Mikael Granlund was stopped twice on a partial breakaway by Corey Crawford, but Ryan Suter beat all the Hawks to the front of the net, and hammered home a rebound on the 3rd try to put the Wild up 2-1. Despite a couple of opportunities with the extra attacker, the Hawks couldn't tie the game, and the Wild would hold on for the 2-1 win.

The Good
  • Patrick Kane extended his points streak to 20 with a power play goal in the 2nd period. The streak is nice, but I think the power play goal is nicer. Speaking of nice, how about the stick lift by Keith to cause the turnover on the play?
  • Corey Crawford played good enough to get the win tonight. Actually he probably deserved the win, as he made 34 saves.
  • Marko Dano had a solid game. Q finally played him more than 10 minutes tonight. He also had a great chance to score in the 2nd period, but was robbed by Dubnyk.
  • The PK had a great night. They killed off all four of Minnesota's power play opportunities, which included three straight in the second period.
  • I'm stretching for more good because I don't want to be completely miserable, but I thought Jonathan Toews was good tonight. He was by far the best Hawks player in the first period.

The Bad
  • The first home game after a long road trip is always a trap game. (Ask San Jose how that went over last Wednesday.) The Hawks were caught with a lackluster start, and were lucky to only yield one goal in the opening period.
  • The Hawks had 22 shots blocked tonight. If you don't know what dragging your feet means, this should help you. 22 blocked shots means it was pretty clear the Hawks weren't skating and finding open shooting lanes.
  • Because of the march to the box by the Hawks in the second period, the ice times were a jumbled mess tonight. But stick taps to The Manshitter who played 5 minutes more than us.
  • For chance the Hawks were totally hammered at the dot tonight. It ended up being 34-28 in favor of the Wild.
The Ugly
  • The Hawks took three penalties in the final 10 minutes of the second period. Talk about playing with fire.
  • Ryan Suter's game winning goal was nothing but hot vomit in a garbage bag. Anytime a goal is scored on a 3rd rebound attempt, and by a defenseman, I'll call that a lazy backcheck.
  • Despite his excellent stick lift on Kane's goal, Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson had rough nights. They both ended up tonight at -2.
  • Anyone that wants to blame Michal Rozsival for the loss tonight can go to hell. Yes he took a penalty in the third period (which was a set pick play), but last I checked he wasn't on the ice for either of the Wild's two goals, nor was he one of the three that took a penalty in the cluster of back to back to back penalties in the third. Lay off the guy. He's been more than adequate since returning. I think all the sane Hawks fans are in agreement, we'd rather see him than that defensive zone disaster known as David Rundblad.
  • After returning home for a game, the Hawks hit the road for a game on Thursday in Ottawa. Makes a lot of sense NHL schedule makers.

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