Thursday, October 12, 2017

Blackhawks vs Wild
5-2 Loss Recap


by Gatekeeper

The Blackhawks were back home to face the winless Minnesota Wild, Thursday night. By winless, the Wild are only 0-1-1, but winless nonetheless. The Blackhawks came in with the league’s second leading scorer in Brandon Saad (tied), and three players tied for 3rd in Patrick Kane, Ryan Hartman, and Richard Panik. The Wild, on the other hand, were dealing with some injuries so Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund weren’t available.

During the first period, Other than a few big hits by each team, the play was painfully boring. The scoreboard said that the shots favored the Wild 8-6, but there wasn’t much action at all. That’s about all that can be said.

The second period had much more action, including a few partial break-a-ways. Even though the Wild scored the lone goal in the period it was the Blackhawks that led in shots on net 16-9. After a generally insufferable first period, this middle frame set up a big third period.

And a big third period it was, for all the wrong reasons. The Blackhawks had a decent amount of momentum and then an unfortunate bounce turned into a 2-1 Wild lead, despite the Blackhawks challenging the play for offsides. With the new rules this season the Blackhawks were assessed a delay of game penalty for losing the challenge and the wild converted on the powerplay. So, like a pouty baby, the Blackhawks coach pulled his goaltender with over four minutes remaining and gave up on his team. Another late empty netter really poured salt in the wound before the Blackhawks scored a late, pointless, powerplay goal with under a minute to go.

The Good
  • John Hayden had what look like a pretty uneventful fight with Marcus Foligno until Hayden tagged Foligno with a wild right hand to the chin that buckled knees of the Wild forward.
  • The blenderific line of Patrick Kane, Tanner Kero and Ryan Hartman finally got the Blackhawks on the scoreboard and tied the game in the third period. Kane saw that the Blackhawks had numbers deep behind the Wild defense in front of the Wild net and lofted a shot towards Tanner Kero, who was screening Devan Dubnyk. The rebound popped out into the slot area and Ryan Hartman shoveled it past Dubnyk.
  • What seemed like seconds after the Hartman goal, Artem Anisimov got a similar very rebound to the goal with a wide open net and beat Dubnyk, but the puck hit both posts and some how stayed out of the net.
  • Not even going to go into depth about Jonathan Toews’s late powerplay goal, because their future hall of fame coach made it completely irrelevant.
  • Corey Crawford was huge, once again, and especially so in the second and third periods. I'm sure someone will find a way to blame him for the final 3 goals, but he was obviously in no way at fault.
  • The Hawks actually outshot the Wild 38-34, overall.
  • As far as possession goes, the Blackhawks looked good. Only 5 players were under water (Hartman, Anisimov, Hayden, Keith and Seabrook).

The Bad
  • Joel Quenneville once again fired up the line lender swapping Artem Anisimov and Tommy Wingels. I will never understand Tommy Wingels playing second line center. Makes zero sense to me. Thankfully he switch Tanner Kero there later.

The Ugly
  • Late in the second period, it looked like the Blackhawks were going to go into the intermission scoreless, but a terrible turnover turned into a gift of a goal. The play was ping ponging back and forth, and the Blackhawks looked to have snuffed a Wild rush but Gustav Forsling turned the puck over trying to be cute and flip it by the Wild forechecker. That didn’t work out and the Wild had a deep 2-on-1 that Eric Staal narrowly beat Corey Crawford with.
  • Halfway through the third period it looked like the Wild had an easy goal to go up 2-1, but the Blackhawks challenged. Unfortunately, the goal stood and then the Blackhawks went on the penalty kill.
  • Of course the resulting powerplay turned into a Wild goal, and put them up 3-1. Brutal turn of events after what should have been an overturned goal.
  • In one of the most stupid trends this league has dabbled in the past couple of seasons, Joel Quenneville pulled Corey Crawford with over four minutes remaining and almost immediately gave up an empty net goal. GOOD! Serves you right, for pulling that epically stupid move.
  • AND THE STUPIDITY DOESN’T STOP THERE! The Blackhawks got a powerplay and pulled their goalie again...

    And gave up another empty net goal.

    They could have been down 3-1 with a powerplay, and had a chance to close that to a one goal lead, but hang two empty netters on Joel Quenneville.

The Lineblender
Left Wing - Center - Right Wing
Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Richard Panik
Ryan Hartman - Artem Anisimov - Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp - Tanner Kero - Alex Debrincat
Lance Bouma - Tommy Wingels - John Hayden

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook
Michal Kempny - Cody Franson
Gustav Forsling - Jan Rutta


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