Blackhawks Hammer Wild (Again)

For the second time in four days, the Blackhawks added to the growing frustration of the Minnesota Wild. This time at the United Center, another Chicago scoring barrage buried the Wild quickly.

Oduya MIN

Three Blackhawks – Bryan Bickell, Marian Hossa and Brad Richards – scored their ninth goals of the season and Johnny Oduya added his second as the Hawks handled their business in the game’s first 40 minutes.

Patrick Kane picked up assists on the goals from Bickell and Richards to continue his dominance of Minnesota this season. Kane now has eight points (two goals, six assists) in three games against the Wild this season.

Jonathan Toews is right there with Kane, adding two more assists to his season tally on Sunday night. Toews now has one goal and five assists in three games against the division rivals.

Hossa, Bickell and Richards each added an assist to give the Blackhawks five players with a multi-point night on Sunday.

Sunday marked another strong performance from Bickell, who has stepped up his play in the new calendar year. Starting on Dec. 29, Bickell has three multi-point games in his last seven contests, and has five points in six games in January after posting only 13 points in the season’s first three months. Bickell also led the Hawks with five hits on Sunday night.

Unfortunately, Matt Cooke beat Corey Crawford to break up the shutout bid in the third period. Crawford had another strong night, stopping 36 of 37 in the victory. After some concern about Crawford when he returned from an injury, he has now stopped 100 of 105 (.952 save percentage) over his last three starts (2-1-0).

Teuvo Teravainen looked more confident once again, and spent the entire night at wing on a line with Andrew Shaw and Patrick Sharp. He was credited with four shots on goal and one missed shot in 14:41, and played better without the puck on both ends of the ice as well.

The Hawks are now off until hosting Winnipeg on Friday night.

Teravainen MIN

47 thoughts on “Blackhawks Hammer Wild (Again)

  1. Liked the look of #86 again tonight has been improving since his return and tonight was equally as good as last game for him. Good all round game from the boys!

  2. The Wild are a dumpster fire! Backstrom isn’t a regular NHL caliber goalie, and Mike Yeo has got to be close to getting his walking papers

    Anyways the Hawks looked strong. Funny how another top 6 forward talent(yep TT is that player). Makes a huge difference in having a balanced lineup. That 1st line is playing at a very high level. I love the idea of Sharp and TT playing together, they compliment each other very well. I have a feeling once TT gets on the board he will keep producing. Shaw gives them some grit and toughness. OMG if Bickell can hang with Kane & Richards now you have 3 lines that no other team can run with. Then again the Wild are horrible so I shouldn’t get to excited.

    What is exciting is Crow. He looked poised and in control through out. 958 SA in the 3rd period WHOA! He has continued to take his game to another level.

  3. Great to see the Hawks come out and just smoke their opponent. the hawks have so much talent that when they are totally focused, they are really fun to watch.

    A real positive game going into a significant break. Looking forward to the second half of the season.

    Bickell has hit the “on” switch. Rundblad looks decent at #6, he actually competes hard in goal mouth scrambles.

    All good tonight.

  4. Great boumce back and redemption for Edmonton. Stay on the heels of Nashville because I believe Nashville will start to wilt a bit in the stretch. Minny was kind of flat even with Parise in. Much needed time off/break in schedule well earned. Great to watch and do the happy dance!

  5. TT can pass the puck, good Lord that kid is crafty. I hope they keep him with Sharp, would not be surprised if they catch fire.

  6. Fun game. Nice distribution of TOI. All players in double digits.

    The 20-19-81 line deserves to have Sweet Georgia Brown played when they get that cycle – WOW! Nice to see Hoss finding the back of the net lately.

    Yeah Bickell. What’s gotten into him lately. Whatever it is I hope it doesn’t go away.

    TT – kid is showing he can play in the NHL. Probably better for him to play wing right now. Hopefully he hit’s the scoresheet soon so he doesn’t start pressing.

    4 days off – good thing they won or it would seem like forever before they play again.

    Next game is against the Jets and I’m watching them against the Ducks right now – the Jets are not doing this with smoke and mirrors – they are a solid team and they’re big. Buf is playing very well and he’s is crushing people with hits. Plus they have a very good goalie in Hutchinson.

    BTW – remember how Kane started off kind of slow – he now has 47 point which is 3 off the league lead. This just in – Kane is good at hockey :)

  7. Nice to be back at the UC watching hockey after being away for 2 weeks. While one can keep track through video streams and replays, it pales compared with watching live NHL action. Hawks put on a clinic last night and they really had some jump. I was very surprised to see the Wild hanging their heads mid way through the game. That team is reeling right now. A rudderless ship, so kick em when they are down. Pity Crow didn’t get shutout, but he was stellar last night.

    All 4 Hawks lines looked good last night. Bicks is back for sure. I saw him actually below Hawks goal line taking a Wild player into the boards with authority and he finished the check to boot. Sharpy did so as well. Hawks looked determined to play good 2 way hockey last night, a formula that yields wins more often than not. Wild allowing Hawks into neutral zone with puck possession and speed is a recipe for disaster for any team. Last night a classic example of this.

    TT is going to start ringing up some points soon. The kid is creating scoring opportunities. Line mates need to keep heads up and sticks on the ice with 86 out there. The puck will arrive. Wild roughed him up a little in the 1st, but less so as the game wore on. He is very quick on his skates. While the Versteeg injury was unfortunate it gives TT valuable ice time in the show. The guy needs double digit minutes each game. I hope Q finds some room for him on the PP soon. I still believe he and Kane will wreak havoc given PP time together.

    While he does not have as much juice as he did a few years ago Brad Richards is sure showing he can skate with the Hawks. Playing with this team has helped 91 elevate his game. Has to be fun coming to the rink knowing you are going to be playing on a line with Kaner. How bout Hoss turning 36 years young? The guy is a marvel to watch play live. So strong on the puck. Happy Birthday! Kudos to Rundblad. He looking very confident out there recently. Nice positional play with few mistakes. Impressive improvement. Wish Rozy had more gas in the tank.

    Some days off this week can’t hurt, but the boys better be ready for the Peg come Friday night. That team is on a bit a of a roll for sure. Jets will no doubt bring a wilting forecheck to the UC. Hawks will need to be sharp with passes for zone exits. Jets game right now reminds me of LA when they are in sync. Yikes, that Pearson injury looked nasty.

    Time to shovel driveway.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  8. Phil- your Jets and TT comments are spot on!!!
    Jets might be the scariest team I have seen the Hawks play this year… size like Kings, and Grabbing/checking/skating like the Redwings…

    TT doesn’t wait for seam/play to develop… TT develops his own seams… that bouncing puck he gathered and in same motion put on 65’s stick between 2 d-men (Shaw was late getting stick down)… would have put 65 all alone on Goalie… really – how does a guy do that???

  9. Nice Win and a timely double break in the next couple of weeks-
    Phil, the local Toronto paper has Rozy on the trade block. Rundblads’ play has made that more of a reality.
    What do people think of Yeo not even trying to get an extra skater with the penalty late-I know it created the non-icing issue but it sends a message to his players? He may be done, at the very least mentally.

  10. Nice to see TT is using well his opportunity, but when Steeger will come back, he will probably be the odd man out. Should not hurt him to play a heavy minutes in AHL for about a month and serve as an insurance in case of any top 9 forward goes down.

    Lines (incl. Steeger):
    Saad – Toews – Hossa
    Bickell – Richards – Kane
    Sharp – Shaw – Versteeg
    Nordstrom / Carcillo – Kruger – Smith

    Personally I would switch Sharp and Saad as it would probably help with the cap managing in the summer (Saad resigning and Sharp trading).
    Then in late February / early March TT can be called up again to join 3rd line with Shaw going to 4th to prepare for the playoff.
    Not sure if it makes sense to get rid of Rozy, as hawks will need a depth at defence when playoff starts. Some experienced Dman would need to come back, I guess.
    While far from perfect, at least Rozy is somehow proven and Q trusts him.
    I would suggest to rest Rozy every 3rd/4th game, also for Erixon to get some ice time to keep him ready…

  11. No hockey fan can determine much from this game BUT the poor Wild franchise is in real trouble, what a poor performance and effort on all four lines! I am a closet Mike Yeo fan, love the guy, but he’s gone after the all-star break . . . sadly. I know they have injuries but I remember the WILD as a much more physical team when they played well, seems so soft right now even my boy SUTTER looked confused dazed and soft. Hawks when you let them skate around untouched, well we know the result. Crawford looked good, but wild could not sustain anything. TT was okay, again the lines are not expecting to play at his pace, with quick decisions….but talented for sure. i would put him on the second powerplay line for sure, Kane anchor line 1 and TT anchor line 2, line 2 has been horrible. go hawks big rest coming up

  12. Moonshiner, just a thought…

    Lines (incl. Steeger):
    Saad – Toews – Hossa
    Bickell – Richards – Kane
    Sharp – Teravainen – Versteeg
    Shaw / Carcillo – Kruger – Smith

  13. DD, I would certainly be happy with those line combos. That’s a tough group for any team to match up with.

    Moonshiner I am with you about keeping Rozy rested as per your schedule. If he is being shopped around it would explain the extended ice time he has seen recently. In the bigger picture if he stays he will need to be kept fresh going into playoffs.

    Wall your last comment about Teuvo cracked me up because I said to my friend sitting next to me at the the game last night a few times, “did you see what he (TT)just did?” The kid has flat out sick hands to go with special ice vision. “Its going to be some great fun watching him evolve.

    The Wild apart from tough injuries just look so different from last year. That team was tough in the playoffs a year ago. As it was well pointed out, they somehow lost their physical game. They were a bangin’ bunch last year, and hard to play against. They had an edginess. If I recall, the Avs series was a war against the Wild. Guys getting run all over the place. Firing Yeo IMO would be a mistake. His system was working well. I think goalie issues have to be raised. Weird.

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  14. Phil- Re: TT pass to Shaw… think about it… the puck wasn’t on his stick… so TT had to follow bouncing/flying puck… and still sees Shaw in between 2 D guys cutting to net… that’s vision!!! plus hands to execute

  15. Impressed to see Bickell make several big hits last night. What a turn-around in his game recently. Felt that we really saw the potential of TT last night. He looked fast, confident and amazingly skilled. Interesting to hear Pierre Maguire gush on about what a star he is going to be. Lastly, Rundblad continues to make big strides, confident skating the puck out of the zone, firing shots from the point – hope he continues to get significant minutes as we have been pretty fortunate with the health of the top 4 D (I believe they have only missed one game).

  16. DD – I like those lines. I know I’m getting ahead of myself here because it’s been only 4 games and he hasn’t been manhandled by the likes of St.Louis and other more physically punishing teams, but other than not denting the scoresheet yet, I’m pleased with how TT has played. There has been noticeable improvement from game to game and although he will still get physically overmatched, he has shown that he doesn’t shy away from it which was the most pressing question I had regarding TT’s ability to play in the NHL. So long as he isn’t physically intimidated his skill is more than good enough to play in the NHL and (again – only 4 games) so far the results look good.

    I like him playing wing right now and we know how Q likes players who can play more than one spot. The defensive responsibilities of playing center, especially in the West with all the big players, is still something that TT hasn’t proven he can do well, so playing wing right now makes t easier to kind of ease into the NHL a little better. He has shown he has good hockey IQ and plays well defensively, but the scrums against the wall below the goalline will be where he will be overmatched. The other thing about him playing wing is that Shaw has actually improved on faceoffs and isn’t the automatic faceoff loss like he used to be.

    But, at some point TT should go back to playing center because that’s his natural position and the Hawks have to find out if he is the long awaited 2C moving forward (next season and beyond), or if they have to plan on getting another 2C for next season.

    I’ll tell you what – the potential of that Sharp-TT-Versteeg line has me thinking happy thoughts.

  17. Where do the comments on the Hawks “lack of speed” come from? I can see maybe the D crew but not the forwards. You actually believe that St. Louis, LA and Nashville are faster? as those are the contenders not Colorado, Edmonton, Minnesota or Dallas.

  18. Wall, after reading your TT makes his own seams statement. The orange juice I was drinking was all over the kitchen floor.

    That is 4 wicked lines. We are stacked, again.

    I do not think we would trade 32 unless were bringing in someone whose 3m (or higher %retained).

  19. Yeo’s preferred style of play I believe to be a tough sell to players. The Wild getting to the playoffs the past two years has surprised me…but I really believe there problem this year is goaltending. The team just doesn’t believe there won’t be a softy going in the net at some point and this detracts from their overall play. Oh, and Ryan Suter is the current league leader in ice time, again.

  20. Patrick Kane has a center with a pulse and he might break 100 points this year. He’s a pretty good player. Pretty pretty good.

    You can see TT is going to be a thing. He’s already starting to make defenders respect him with his stick handling. Once his teammates are ready for those passes he is threading, that third line is going to be nasty.

    Bickell woke up. Something finally lit that fire under his ass, now lets see how long it lasts. Maybe somebody told him that the only team that would take his contract with the way he is playing is Florida.

    Welcome back, Corey.

  21. Suter is a cautionary tale for the Hawks and Duncan Keith’s heavier minutes this year.

    Suter at 29 has just 1 goal, no longer pushes play nor pushes anyone else for that matter. I know the Wild feel he can handle it but it’s clear he’s regressed.

  22. Sorry. Not buying that Suter has regressed. His issues are more a symptom of the overall roster breakdown in Minnesota as they are about him personally not doing the job any more.

  23. I’m w Tab Suter numbers look bad because he logs so many minutes his numbers (specifically his (+/- ) have taken a hit due to Minny’s erratic goalentding. Suter was just the player of the week about 2 weeks ago with 1 goal and 5 helpers in 3 games. However, once Kuemper went down things have changed a lot. Kuemper has been their best keeper and while he started out strong his been, his been hurt and inconsistent over the last month. He is a young goalie so those ups and downs happen.

    The Wild are truly a mess! While I wouldn’t recommend Suter on your fantasy hockey team Suter is a Monster and a top pair defenseman despite his numbers. Think Chelly towards the end of his Hawks career. Those were only 2 years he was a negative player in his long career. ***Minus his 7 game cup of coffee w the Thrashers**

  24. Tab and SSHM

    Sorry, don’t agree – numbers do not reflect an elite defenseman even with the huge minutes he plays. Review the tape for those last two games with the Hawks and find me one, just one, instance of where he’s a difference maker in those games.

    If Keith played like that we would be all over him. And he’s $2 million cheaper

  25. First Hawks = Not Fast, Quick yes and yes not SLOW but not FAST! They are deliberate with the puck that is the style, they love love love puck control it’s their signature, and fast teams MAKE MISTAKES hawks seldom do . . anyway! Saad at one time skated like a Gazzzzzzle he has SPEED Shaw has been bust ass too! Lots of chatter on line “combos” like pretzels and chezz-whip and sea salt, Hawks have more talent that any NHL team so almost any exotic cocktail mix will get ya high on goals and or productivity. The key is keeping them in place, to get consistent, to know where a guy like the puck and to know tendencies and anticipate, it also has a LOT to do with speed so you have a line that can enter the zone at max speed, it also has a LOT to do with protection for guys like Kruger, TT, Kane and even Towes that is why BICK is the most critical guy on the team, provides back up and muscle. The defense is where we need help ROZY is not tradable, no one will claim him and again HAMMER is playing on his weak side which makes me MAD and why he is not a perennial all star.

  26. Loved last nights game……but you must consider the competition. First, playing with a lead sure saves our players from too much rough stuff. Bicks is finally playing to his role and not trying to be Hossa. Crawford is a pretty good goalie. TT is a good player and one day a year or two from now he may be a great player, excellent vision.

    The Jets are playing like I thought they would……… last year. They are a team to be reckoned with. Have to get the lead early or we will be beaten up. Bicks will have to be at his physical best.

  27. To add Mike the Mook… Hawks- IQ/anticipation makes them look/seem quicker…
    TT is just another guy who knows where the puck and play are going… Hossa- same way.. Bolland was never the fastest guy… but always showed up at the right time in big games… cuz of IQ

  28. Agree w Mr Tab w/out hesitation. Give Minny Teavo and couple more decent players (Shaw? Choice of D men in minors, etc), let them retain some salary of Suter’s contract, that’s Keith, Seabrook, Hjalms & Suter D; that’s at leaat two more cups right there. Get on the phone Bowman….

  29. Not that I am taking sides here, I am not, just bringing this up. Clayton stoner said in a recent interview he was glad to be gone from Minnesota, because in his words, they give all the ice time on defense to one guy (Suter) and they only worry about one guys minutes and everybody else suffers. Again that was just stoner’s opinion.

    Having said that, if Suter is their franchise defenseman why wouldn’t they want him as often as possible?

  30. Iceman, “Give Minny Teavo….” – ha, ha, ha, ha, ha – good one!!

    “…that’s at least two more cups right there” — really…like the Hawks current group (with Versteeg and Van Riemsdyk returning) does not have a legitimate-plus shot at one this year? And, with a little luck – moving a large and two or three lesser salaries (we can educated-guess who), and promoting from Rockford have at least a legitimate shot at another one or two…? I can’t see the future, and given there are some factors beyond control, but this doesn’t seem too farfetched.

  31. (Not necessarily germane to any “Give Minny (or any other team) Teavo….” discussion, but let the record reflect that I was absolutely against trading/getting rid of Kane after the drunk-in-Wisconsin bs…)

  32. I politely disagree Mike the Mook. Team speed includes control, otherwise you have a group of Stalbergs, ultra fast with no IQ to know what to do once you get there (kind of like a dog chasing a car and actually catching it). The Hawks main competition are Nashville, St. Louis or LA and I wouldn’t say they are slower than any of those teams. Oilers and Colorado are fast teams and where has it got them.

  33. You stated yourself that Saad has speed and others like Kane, Sharp and Versteeg can fly but they play in control instead of running around like lunatics…good coaching can do that.

  34. Goldenblaz – Hawks play a “control” possession game so SPEED is not really evident, KINGS, BLUES,RANGERS and AVS and others USE SPEED and rely on it, look at JKIMMY HAYES (my favorite) he just goes north to south and liek 23 goals already and 6 foot 6? Watch other teams SKATE. To get it my point, watch other teams as they get the puck in the neutral zone YOU WILL WITNESS PLAYERS SKATING WITH HEAD DOWN, SKATING HARD, FAST just going forward ie. north. Hawks game is drift, wait, pause and many times look for a fast break outlet stretch pass. And it works! Sooooo just watch a lot of other teams WHEN THEY ARE NOT PLAYING THE HAWKS watch the Rangers and you’ll see guys that put heads down and skate north as fast as they can = TEAM SPEED again Hawks offense is NOT DESIGNED AROUND SPEED and that is good and okay and effective. When at high speed you over skate! When at high speed you turn the puck over and leave GAPS in your defense, so i rest my case, just want to make sure we understand the term SPEED / FAST as it applies to a “System” not each dude because they all can skate some better than others. The only guy i have seen in the last few years to just kill it in speed is MR. SAAD at times he would just fly as i said Shaw currently is doing it too otherwise all under control, pacing and if ya hear Coach Q all he says like 13 times an interview is “gee golly i really liked our pace” love to all, GO HAWKS for GOD SAKE!

  35. Jets put up 8 goals tonite…

    M. Perrault with 4 g’s (15 for year)… I remember someone on this site begging for the Hawks to try to land that guy a year or two ago… smart guy (I think that was me!!!)

  36. Wall- I was advocating for Perrault as well. I remember when he first signed with the Jets I thought it was a relative overpay for his services (depth center @3 mil for 3 years)

    He’s playing out of his mind right now. It’ll be interesting to see if it continues

  37. Just imagine the Jets if they had an elite goaltender, too. Winnipeg would be in second place in the Pacific (!!!)

    I’m not sold on the “TT will get abused in the NHL because he’s small” argument. A great counterexample is 88. Kane cannot take punishment and isn’t particularly strong on his skates or the puck. But he’s always moving the right direction, his lateral mobility is excellent, and he’s a split second ahead of the play. So he rarely ever gets hit, and only takes a big shot a few times per season. Despite his size, he’s hardly ever hurt and should have a long career.

    TT might be cut from the same cloth. He won’t take much punishment in the offensive zone. He’s so good with the puck that defenders will back off to clog passing lanes (a la Kane). He might take some big hits on the breakout, but he’ll learn to avoid those too.

  38. Should be an interesting matchup against the ‘Peg tomorrow. Not one that I had on my must-attend games at the start of the year but more than intriguing now. Especially given the 0-2 record against them and the 5-1 pasting earlier in the year.

    I think (hope) Iceman was joking about Suter. TT will be fine. He’s what, 3, 4 games into his first real foray into the NHL waters? He’s looked more comfortable every game. Remember how bad Runblad looked at the start of the year? Or Nordstrom looking completely outmatched when he started the season with the big club last year. I remember the banner-raiser against the Caps and 42 was out there on the first penalty kill and just looked completely lost. TT will be fine, he is learning at the foot of some of the best pros in hockey.

  39. Got to watch Perrault quite a bit when he was with the Ducks. He is a very talented skill player however he is is not very big and had trouble staying healthy.

  40. I was able to watch Jets-Dallas game last night as well as switching to the Blues-Wings . It was for me notable that there was very little physical play in either of these games especially the Jets-Stars matchup. Jets seems to have some swagger about them. They look confident. Their defense is improved and they bring a strong net presence on offense. Apart from the usual BS from their Cpt, the Blues played a very tame physical game as well. Very pleased to see them choke in OT giving up a real softy to Datsyuk, after tying game in the last minute. Strange to be rooting for the Wings…..

    Peg may come in a little tired after playing last night. I expect the Hawks to bring a strong effort, as they remember the pasting at the UC in the last go around. Jets will no doubt be throwing some big bodies at Indian head sweaters. Should be a good one. Looking forward to being there even though I don’t like all the drunks that show up for Fri night tilts.

    Lets Go Hawks!

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