Blackhawks Shut Out By Bryzgalov, Wild

The Wild remained unbeaten at the Xcel Energy Center in the 2014 playoffs, defeating the Blackhawks 4-0 on Tuesday night.

After two periods with very little offense from from either team, the Wild exploded for four in the third period to blow the Hawks away. Erik Haula tipped home a nice pass from Justin Fontaine to start the scoring at 1:41, and Mikael Granlund made a nice play in traffic to beat Brent Seabrook and Corey Crawford and extend Minnesota’s lead to two.

Zach Parise added a power play goal at 17:25 and Granlund scored an empty net goal at 18:43 to close the books on Game Three.

Coach Joel Quenneville mixed up his lineup again for Tuesday night, with a surprising twist. Nick Leddy, who had played in every regular season and playoff game over the last three seasons, was a healthy scratch in his home state with Sheldon Brookbank getting the call. Jeremy Morin was also put back in the press box as Brandon Bollig returned to the lineup.

Not only did Quenneville take Leddy and Morin out of the rotation, but he also mixed up the pairs on the blue line. Johnny Oduya spent most of the night with Duncan Keith; they were the only defensemen to skate more than 20 minutes in the game. Brent Seabrook skated with Niklas Hjalmarsson, who had additional protection on his neck after getting hit in the throat in Game Two. Hjalmarsson can’t talk, but he can skate – and he led the Hawks with four blocked shots once again.

Bollig took 11 shifts and skated 5:53 in the game.

Brookbank skated 12:16, and unsuccessfully tried to fight Nino Niederreiter in the third when the Hawks were trailing by two.

Leddy took a seat after taking a dumb penalty in each of the first two games of the series, an uncharacteristic lack of composure from a defenseman who took only five minor penalties in 82 regular season games this year. He has only two assists – both on the power play – in eight games to open the 2014 postseason.

Ilya Bryzgalov stopped only 19 shots to record his fourth career postseason shutout. Corey Crawford allowed three goals against only 17 shots in the loss.

Late in the second period, Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter got tangled up with Hossa and the two went down hard. It appeared that Suter was favoring an arm/shoulder when they got up, and he went straight to the room for attention. Suter returned for the start of the third period, though, and finished the night skating 26:12 with one assist, three blocked shots and one hit.

The Hawks killed three of four penalties in the game, but were awful on both of their power play opportunities. Five different Hawks were minus-two in the game, and Keith led the team with three hits.

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52 Responses to Blackhawks Shut Out By Bryzgalov, Wild

  1. Sr. Brad says:

    Not the same effort by the Hawks, and certainly not the same goaltending…not that it really mattered…Crawford had no chance on the 1st goal, you know the goal where Patrick Kane chose not to defend, and that was the game. However, you simply can’t allow 3 goals on 17 shots…CC needs to refocus, and he likely will.

    The Hawks are missing Shaw right now, and hopefully he will be back Friday.

    Q said after the game that the decision to bench Leddy was not made on Leddy’s play or trying to send a message, it was wanting to get BB ice time…and BB responded with a decent to pretty good effort, but Q only skated him 12 minutes…and what’s more, why take Leddy out of the lineup (if its not a message) when Hammer shouldn’t have played (and could have benefited with the time off) or giving Rozy time with his age, and lacklustre play? But this is what Q does…he stands by his veterans without evidence to support his decisions, and takes a microscope out with the young players…players who don’t respond well to mind games. The Hawks won with Morin in the lineup, and the 4th line had puck possession and created scoring chances…but out he goes for Bollig. Bolly skates the perfunctory 5 minutes, and doesn’t produce a single thing…neither does Handzus…and we lose…interesting. Of note, Ben Smith played a very good game and finished with a 0 rating, when everyone around him was in the minus.

    Oh well, dump this one from the memory banks and get ready for Friday!

  2. Hard to get too down about your 6 game playoff win streak coming to an end, but the Wild and their were absolutely stifling. Bryzgalov was excellent, been solid all series, but seldom tested tonight. Nice to see Nordstrom upright and contributing a bit, and Brookbank got a little silly but seemed sharp most of the game. Sharp didn’t. But then again the Wild made most of the top six look ordinary tonight. Sure they miserably failed to produce tonight, but I will never tire of the long tape to tape Bickell to Hossa passes, and I hope to see more. Not sure what was going on with the D pairings and all the Versteeg out there, maybe Q thought this was an exhibition game or something? I had a bad feeling about this game going in, and I’m glad the Hawks made it out healthy… hope they can figure out how to score on this team again, tonight it looked impossible.

  3. scottie p says:

    The Blackhawks have lost the first road game in 11 straight playoff series.

  4. Dickie Dunn says:

    Geeezzz – pretty disappointing after all the (pre-game) talk about having to play better. In my opinion, the effort (except some spurts of desperation in the third) was below what we’ve seen so far this post season.

    I thought the third period penalties taken by Hjalmarsson and Oduya’s were stupid/unnecessary.

    Hopefully, they’ll be ready to play Friday.

  5. CJ says:

    The Hawks definitely missed Leddy’s great skating ability to start rushes. Brookbank fared well but more offense was definitely needed tonight. Hopefully the longer break slows down the Wild’s momentum and gives time for Shaw and Hjammer to heal. I’ld expect to see mostly the same lineup besides Leddy for Brookbank. Bollig will play and hopefully keeps Matt Cooke at bay. Hopefully Shaw is good to go, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Morin played for Nordstrom. Towards the end Q placed Versteeg on the third line while Nordstrom rode the pine i.e. The fourth line with Handzus and Bollig. Next game look for a big bounceback and more offensive pressure.

    Let’s go Hawks!

  6. Mining Man says:

    Game four is the real critical one, …the Blackhawks will be there for this. We win this in five.

  7. morrison says:

    Would rather not win this game then any of the last 6…

    Two days between games, bitchs.

  8. ebonyraptor says:

    The Wild are a good team. I thought before the series started that the Hawks would win in 6 games but wouldn’t be surprised if it went 7 games – that means I thought the Wild would win 2 or 3 games. So they got one win and will probably get another one or two. I still think the Hawks will win in 6 or 7.

    Friday will be another nail biter. I love playoff hockey!

  9. Travis says:

    Here’s the difference in the game: Keith – PING! Toews – PING! (and Kane’s magical puck bobble in the crease for good measure)

    If any one of those go in the net, instead of ringing off the post, then we’re in really good shape. The Wild eventually open up, and we can counterattack.

    Re: Crow’s 3 GA on 17 shots. He had no chance on any of the three. Those were three gorgeous, unstoppable goals, I tip my cap. Not often you see the Hawks burned on the rush.

    My major beef is with the game plan. Q harped on “if you try to get creative, they burn you on the counter.” So we played defensive-style, Wild hockey. I think that’s crap. This team is built to attack. We’re supposed to take smart risks with pinching D-men and zone entries, and backcheck like demons to cover up. We didn’t do that until we were down 2, and that was the only moment in the game that I recognized our play as Hawks hockey.

    Who cares if we’re in their building? Play our style! We’re the most aggressive team in the league. Make their 4th string goalie stand on his head! Attack ‘em Hawks! Go get ‘em!

  10. RyanDale says:

    I would think if benching 8 means you have to screw with every pair in the lineup, maybe just let the kid play. 4 with 7 ? Who knew Seabs was an expert with muted Swedes.

    Were we not on a bit of a winning streak??

    With LA showing well at 2-0 (in Ana), we would be wise to not let Minny get another W

  11. Travis says:

    Just no reason to put less than 20 shots on their 4th string. If the Wild score 3 goals on the counter, and Bryzgalov stops 38 of 40 shots, then good for them. Good luck winning 4 out of 5 in that fashion. But when we play their style, we’re playing not to lose, and chance plays too great a role in the outcome.

  12. morrison says:

    Did Hammer play left side so he would be on the bench side of ice 2/3 periods. To help with communication…

    SRB- I think Hammer would have taken off a game if we won and it was 3-0.

  13. wall says:

    If every game was played like that…the Salary Cap would be about $35 Mill- cuz most people wouldn’t watch!!! And Hockey would change it’s name to Synchronized skating!!! When Kane lost his Synchronized skating partner ( Halla-Halla)… Game Over!!!

    Travis- great post…

    Wild vs. Wild(Hawks)= some boring ass, tight checking, no scoring chance game!!!

    Cooke + Kuemper(if he comes back)= Hawks losing in seven… read somewhere- that Cooke skated most of regular season games vs. Toew’s lines… and Toews/co. was held in check… Pun Intended.

  14. Claude Crane says:

    Two Rings continues to baffle me.

    He sits Leddy, who’s consistently solid, over fumbling, unsteady Rosival.

    He plays essentially-playoffs-worthless Bollig over a scorer–Morin.

    He punishes the youngsters for small errors by withholding ice time, yet continues to play Versteeg, who’s a turnover machine and not much else.

    He separates the highly-effective duo of Seabrook and Keith–after a 6 game winning streak. Why?

    He plays Nordstrom–I’m glad to see it, finally–but gives him way more games and ice time than Morin, who’s a more dynamic scorer. Has Nordstrom really earned more time than Morin, or is Two Rings “punishing” Morin for something minor?

    He has the talent and roster to consistently roll four lines, but he chooses not to. Sure, coaches often don’t play their fourth line as much in the playoffs–but that’s because their fourth lines aren’t as talented. Look what he could put out there–but won’t.

    I like the guy and think he’s a damned good coach–he’s Two Rings–but that doesn’t mean he’s without brain cramps, stubbornness, or poor judgement at times.

  15. Phil says:

    Travis comments very much echoed my thoughts. Well said. Wild get credit. What we saw last night was THEIR game played to the max. Season ticket holders are very loyal up there to watch that cure for insomnia team for over 40 games each year. Hawks showed once again they are a very versatile team, but did not go to their strength/talent once the 3rd period began. Here it was yet again, a terrible start to period 3. This is becoming a disturbing common theme this year in the playoffs. Kane and then Kruger miss assignments and puck goes in net. Otherwise, the Wild were muted most of the game. Hawks played Wild style and came up short. The good news is IMO is that this will be the last we see of holding the horses back. .

    I don’t see Cooke making an impact in this series. All league eyes will be on this chronic cheap shot artist. His game will be muted as a result. Hawks don’t need to dress Bollig to deal with Cooke. Other guys on the Wild I dislike are McCormick, Stoner, and Niederreiter(translates to low rider in German BTW). Stoner will attempt to injure players until he gets a major penalty which is right around the corner given the way he plays.

    That was the easiest goose egg Bryzz will ever put up. The guy probably couldn’t sleep last night because that’s all he had to do between the pipes last night. Clearly, the weakest offensive output from Hawks in quite some time. I believe Bryzz will need his rest or whomever Yeo inserts the rest of this series come Friday night.

    Q confounded me sitting Leddy. I see the desire perhaps to sit someone so BB could play, but Leddy really? The guy would have been super motivated to play in his home state. Tired Rozy or the muted Hammer(poor guy) would have been likely choices. D pairings though held up well, and I thought the goals were more on forwards losing assignments than anything else. IMO last night would have been a good game for Morin to play, but compared with Bollig who seemed to play short minutes why shorten the bench? I continue to be impressed how quickly Nordstrom can accelerate on his skates. This kid can really fly and caused the Wild some problems last night.

    I expect the Hawks to come back with a sense of urgency Friday, and a much better offensive effort. Wild will break under a withering offensive attack. I went to bed kind of PO’d, but I expected this series to go 6.

    While I am no fan of that team, I hope the Ducks come to play and get back in that series.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  16. Hawklover77 says:

    They need to sit Versteeg, he’s just awful on both sides of the puck. I’d rather see Morin or Regin play.

  17. wall says:

    yes- it’s seems like in “checking/shadowing” series… a good skater like Regin… might be an assett…

    not a lot of scoring chances… not a lot of Hitting…

  18. Mike says:

    The weakest efforts by the Hawks in a month. This was bound to happen. Players overconfident and Q feeling he can win with any lineup. That is early regular season stuff that has no place in the playoffs. Leddy is a great 3d pair guy. His ability to play with multiple partners in all 82 reg season games is a testament to how far the guy has come (remember he just turned 23), in front of his home town fans …….Sitting Leddy so that BB can get some ice time, come on, does Q really think anybody will believe that? Yes he may be pressing a little during the playoffs, but jeez, talk to the guy, don’t bench him.

    I really don’t have a problem with Versteeg on the 4th line. There is not much a skater with decent speed and some creativity can do with 26 and 52 as linemates. Nordstrom played a decent game, but his time is not here yet. Hopefully Shaw returns for game 4.

    29 19 88
    10 28 81
    20 65 11 (what a tough line to play against)
    52 16 23
    2 7
    4 27
    8 17

  19. AJ says:

    Yawn, that was a tedious game to watch. Minnesota parks the bus and it makes for a pretty gross game.

    Either way two posts and a lot of junk in front of the net that didn’t get cleaned up.

    Dislike Q out coaching himself. They really should have come out balls to the wall and stepped on the Wilds throats. “Weathering the storm” is such nonsense, especially playing a team with inferior skill. Hopefully they are better prepared Friday.

  20. Negzz says:

    Zero net presence, overconfidence, dump and chase “prevent-D” mentality. Boring and losing is the double whammy. Hawks are lucky they’re not down 2-1 after the way they’ve played 1st 3 games. Fortunately, team seems to play better as series progresses and better hope so in game-4 as noone wants to struggle through watching 4 more games of this nonsense and risking 7 to get it done. No wonder NBC has us in late slot, a tedious cure for insomnia.

  21. wall says:

    JS- where are you???
    This is when you normally come in and talk me off the ledge!!! (if you don’t Hawks might lose)

    Or perhaps… you sense/see the same thing that I see… Hawks don’t look good Vs. Yeo/Trott schemes…

  22. Dickie Dunn says:

    “Cooke + Kuemper(if he comes back)= Hawks losing in seven…” – WTF?!?!…that sounds a little like in the same vein as the suggestion the Hawks fold early to recharge & retool for 2015.

    “need to sit Versteeg, he’s just awful on both sides of the puck. I’d rather see Morin or Regin play.” — agree! Handzus will play to PK, but maybe along these two instead of Bollig and Versteeg the 4th line would be more effective/play more than a few minutes?

    I hope the Sitting Leddy experiment worked(?) and he returns motivated (- that was the purpose, wasn’t it? Only Q knows?) Friday.

  23. McKay says:

    I still don’t think Minny can establish their net front presence. They got one lucky play which was a combination of an insane pass / finish w/ bad back-checking and one complete team breakdown which led to a very well executed 3 on 2. Other than that, most of MN’s offense was on the perimeter.

    Problem was, so was the Hawks’. They played great when they were down 0-2. That’s the kind of fever pitch we needed to display earlier in the game (once that building settles down after about 10 mins into p1).

    Crawford can’t let in 3 of 17 shots? I’ve never understood that logic. If they’re good plays they’re good plays. You’ve got a Kane-esque pass/finish, a player at full tilt moving east to west in the slot, and then Parise alone in front of the net on a PP. Yeah… pull Crawford and trade for Miller. How about some goal support?

  24. RyanDale says:

    wall, I cant speak for our colleague but, back inside my friend…. ledges are not necessary. No way we lose 4 strait, or 4/5 to Minny. relax, enjoy the xtra rest ha

  25. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Hawks need to get a lot more out of Nick Leddy. It’s two years in a row where he has been not so good in the playoffs. Why? Well, fact is he is overrated even though he does possess some obvious skills.

    Brookbank had a nice overall game. Rosival was pretty good, but went through a touch patch for part of the game. Still, Rosival is bloody reliable and that is a key in the playoffs.

    Minnesota has neutered Sharp. He needs to get it going, and I would argue needs to switch places with Bickell on the Toews line.

    If it is me? Then in game 4 I bench Versteeg, even assuming the return of Shaw.

    Sharp – Toews – Hossa
    Bickell – Smith – Kane
    Saad – Kruger – Shaw (not convinced he really will be able to go)
    Bollig – Handzus – Nordstrom

    Put Leddy back in the lineup too. I need to see more out of Saad, his two goals in game 2 nothwithstanding. Needs to get into the play more…needs to scrape paint more.

    This series ends in 5 games. I’m convinced of it. The Hawks know also that the asshat Cooke will be creating trouble in Game 4 and will need to deal with him accordingly. Not worried about Minnesota getting more physical. The key for the Hawks is to wear down Parise, Koivo and Suter

  26. Phil says:

    All true McKay. Let’s remember that this was a game where after Hawks went down 0-2 they began to press the offense button after leaving that part of the game kind on neutral for the first 2 periods. While hindsight, I was hoping when the 3rd period started that the Hawks would come after the Wild, with a heavy forecheck and some REAL pressure on Bryzz. Instead before one can blink, bang down 0-2. Lack of Hawks intensity to start 3rd was noteworthy, and happening too much in these playoffs. I fully expect the Hawks sense of urgency to dial up Friday.

    As mentioned by Wall, team strategy by coaches such as Trotz and Yeo are very tough to play against. Remember, that Preds took us close to the brink in the 2010 Cup run were it not for last minute heroics by Kane with a shorty at UC in game 5. We would have gone back to Nashville down 3-2 I think???

    Wild will have to play perfect to beat the Hawks. In a 7 game series this is not likely hence my feeling this would go at least 6 games. The key is to win the series even if it goes the full 7 games. This isn’t supposed to be easy guys. Keep the faith.

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  27. Phil says:

    Welcome back Ruf!

  28. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Brauckkk !!!

  29. ebonyraptor says:

    It seems to me not enough credit is going to the Wild. Much of the Hawks scoring has been off the rush or shots/deflections withing a few feet of the paint. The Wild played a suffocating defense and pretty much eliminated the rush attack and anytime there was a scramble in the crease after a shot all 5 Wild players were within a stick length of the blue paint – it was almost comical because the one or two Hawks that were in front of the net were literally surrounded by the 5 skaters and goalie. There was no chance to poke in a rebound. That’s the Wild playing at their best and it can be frustrating to play against and boring to watch – but that’s their game and they’re good at it.

    I give the Wild credit. They played the type of game they need to play to win and they won. It’s easier for them to do when they’re on home ice with the last change and crowd behind them. I expect them to win one or two more games in this series – not because the Hawks play poorly, but because they are a good team who play their system well.

  30. McKay says:

    Sadly, I think Sharp neutered Sharp. He hasn’t been the same since he was separated from 19/81 at the end of the regular season when Toews was shut down.

    Anyone who plays with Toews has a great game—there’s no doubt about it. He’s a great line mate. I wouldn’t touch 29/19/81 because it’s a big power line that’s a tough match up and demands the Suter’s attention.

    Kane is the only forward who consistently produces without Toews. We need Sharp to be that productive as well.

    Saad has played pretty well. He had the primary assist on some pretty big goals in the STL series and he’s creating penetration into the hard scoring areas. That said, we all know his game has another level. And there’s always more paint to be scraped (great phrase).

  31. Dickie Dunn says:

    Sochi neutered Sharp…?

  32. RyanDale says:

    Sharp is Sharp, we know this tale. Some think he was a monster before Sochi. I’m only gonna say he had 2 separate 10game runs with 1 goal prior to Sochi. It’s the Sharp way.

    The guy is gonna score goals, we just need to keep playin games

  33. RyanDale says:

    DuckDunn, not a pot shot at ya…just generalization

  34. Dickie Dunn says:

    Ryan, I didn’t take it as any shot (not even one from Sharp that missed). You’re correct – we know he’s always been a streak scorer, but he seems (- I don’t delve deep into the stats) to be at about an all-time low? Maybe he’s not 100% healthy? I don’t know – at times he’s invisible…can’t blame the lack of a #2 center for that.

    Kane said maybe it was a wake-up call — we hope so…back to Chicago up 3-1 would be good. GO HAWKS!!

  35. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Wanted to throw my 2 cents in on last nights game. Minny played well so give them credit. I thought the Hawks came out very conservative. I thought Q played alot of his defensive minded players alot in the 1st and 2nd period. Last night was an example were the breaks didnt go the Hawks way. Keith hits the post early, Toews hits the crossbar, Kane has an open net and the puck slides off his stick. It wasnt an elimination game and the Hawks are up so im not going to get overly concerned. I would have liked the same roster as game 2 but I know how Q likes to shake things up! Where is Steeger? What happened to his game?

    I am confident the Hawks can regroup and play a better game on Friday night.

  36. Boy Named Sioux says:

    Many excellent posts. As a Blackhawks fan living in the St Paul area, I was surprised by the number of Wild fans that were extremely despondent after the first two games. I think many of the Wild players also may have felt, unlike the Colorado series, that coming back from this 0-2 deficit was not going to happen. Much can be written about who was on the ice (or not on the ice) for the Blackhawks, but I still counted 20 players on the bench and can offer little positive about their collective effort. Yes, we may debate the game plan the players were asked to execute (valid criticism). And, yes, I know it is (was) only one game, but playoff series are too closely contested to show mercy. As pointed out by many, Game 4 is huge. The Captain knows it. The other players know it. GO BLACKHAWKS!

  37. Sr. Brad says:

    I thought the best post game comments were by Q…”I’m disappointed because we were one period away from taking a stranglehold in the series”…that’s the frustrating part of last night’s loss…if the Hawks came out and dominated that 3rd period, this series is over…

    As Crawford said, “who cares, let’s play the next one.”

  38. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Series ends in 5. have played conservative because that is what an opponent like Minnesota calls for. I’ve seen nothing from the Wild to suggest they can play with the Hawks. Game 3 their backs were against the wall and they played with their balls on fire like they had to. But the Hawks still bust this team in 5 . This series doesn’t require the sort of game from the Hawks that the Blues commanded. Or the Kings will command. The comments of the resident parrot notwithstanding.

  39. RyanDale says:

    wasup fly? you been manning the suicide prevention lines in StL, since Blues folded up under all that pressure to win a Cup in 14? ”Take, me out to the ba-ll-game…”

    DDunn, thanks and good one about the shot missing! Sharpie seems like first rate character. I never worry too much about 10, only that he’s north of 32 now. He had 2a in G1, had a monster hit in G2 i think it was so he’s got a pulse. I usually just assume all our boys are hurt, and try to dial back my expectations on offense and spectacular plays…just me. Playoffs are so taxing.(on us too!) Last yr in G4 in Minn he had 2g in 3-0 Win, lets hope history repeats! enjoy the games duck!..

    Q/50 are right, we didn’t answer the bell in 3rd and never caught up. .We just reeled off 6Ws. It happens. Move on. Minny IS better than last year but beating the Avs does not parallel with beating the defending Cup Champs. This, ”well Minny could be up 2-1”, is nonsense. A series IS what it says, and 4Ws needed, no matter how you do it. We are in charge. midnight Friday win or lose, Champs still in charge

    morrison ..yes,when 4 was paired with 7 he was left, at least from 2/3 i saw

  40. Gou says:

    When is the next flight to Winnipeg for Steeger.
    His D was always a question, but his O never came back with him.
    Morin in and Shaw comes back in game 4, series over.

  41. noonan96 says:

    RD-I totally agree about 10-he will be there, he’s working hard. I really hope we can mirror LA if they take it in 4 or 5-it would be tough to play a seven gamer and then play them rested.
    Big game tomorrow for a couple of reasons.

  42. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Versteeg will be dumped in the offseason. Florida is still on the hook for half his salary, so what a new team needs to pick up in tersm of his remaining contract isn’t terrible (around $2.4 mil a season). Versteeg isn’t the player he was, and his shortcomings simply don’t fit a Q guided system. His skating ability was the hi-lite for him, and now that is seemingly gone. It was a strange move by Bowman in the first place, but I think he rectifies that soon enough. If its me, then Versteeg sits the rest of this series.

  43. Mike says:

    Before the series began I said that the team who plays it’s own system better will win. Tuesday that was the Wild. Q can not out Wild the Wild so he should not try. Yes Q had the advantage of last line change in games 1 and 2, but he changed his whole approach in game 3 and tried to React to the Wild. Yes adjustments have to be made on the road but you can not abandon your style just because you are on the road.

    I think we will see a different approach tomorrow. A more aggressive approach were Q will do what he wants and let Minny react. A balance 4 line attack on the road is more important than at home so I hope Q goes with a speedier lineup.

  44. wall says:

    Mike- I think Q/Hawks tried to “play their game” in reg. season- and got spanked by the Wild!!!

    I actually thought Q- did right thing to beat Wild and play “conservative style”…
    Like Q said after game… they were one goal/shot to start the 3rd – of taking command of the series… just didn’t happen… instead Kane gave his guy a foot… perfect pass…
    game over.

    Like I said before… Completely boring Hockey when they both play that game…
    I am guessing here- but knowing Hawks skating/speed was not effective vs. Wild during season… I think that the Teams like Kings/Blues (who are a little bigger/more physical- and are better suited for dumping the puck and winning board battles- might have better success vs. Wild type system.) haven’t looked at head to heads- but that would be my guess.

  45. Pete says:

    I say put Regin/Nordstrom and Morin in for Bolig and Handzus. With Shaw coming back that lineup puts a lot of pressure on Minnesota to skate. Leaving Bolig in just waters down the Hawks skating advantage.

  46. wall says:

    Pete- the “Shaw” assumption…

    He will not be skating near 100%… So I really don’t know how Shaw will be effective any time soon!

    29/26 skated in PO’s last year with knee injuries… Safe to assume that 65 is dinged pretty good… Cuz he IS not a pussy!–imo

  47. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Call me crazy but I don’t think game 4 is HUGE! In reality every game in a 7 games series is important, the Hawks remind me a lot of the Jordan Bulls teams occasionally they would take a beating or playoff loss and everyone would jump up and get overly critical then the Bulls would refocus and take care of business. Hawks are cut from the same mold. I don’t believe there is “momentum” in a 7 game series. Every game is important, the only HUGE games are elimination games and the Wild need 2 more wins to force one of those. Hawks just need to do what they do and they will be fine!

  48. Dickie Dunn says:

    SSHM – if game four isn’t HUGE then it is an opportunity to return to Chicago up 3-1, and I’m not sure how to quantify the importance. The opportunity, to me, seems huge…although it’s only a one game difference, it is a big difference between 3-2 and 2-2.

    As far as “momentum” in a 7 game series, Kings vs. SJ – you don’t think the momentum shift/more likely the Kings took it? Pittsburgh/N.Y.?

  49. Dickie Dunn says:

    That’s “3-1 and 2-2″ obviously, in my previous post.

  50. morrison says:

    Does Shawzer has a similar thing as Kaner did. We didn’t have Bolly and this year Shawzer for the 2wks against them, but needed him later. Was wanting Verteeg (with Krugs and def fw) like Bolly that year. Bolly didn’t have his best year, but he pitched in some times that were key.

    I am not sure if Regin gets in this game, but I would like him to get in some later ones. If were going to have Smith on lw, with Shawzer not in/rw then theres a line with Regin on it.

  51. morrison says:

    Lets go now.

  52. Mining Man says:

    Shaw is out for Friday. Not good. Game four is Huge because we want to go home up 3-1 and Minny wants to go into Chicago 2-2. Game 5 will be the elimination game at home for us, otherwise momentum shifts to Minny, and we really need to avoid that at all costs. Leddy should play, and look for huge game from Seabrook, Keith and Crawford. We need the extra time off as well as Kings/Ducks could be over real quick. No pun intended. The rest I trust with Q.

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