42 thoughts on “Blackhawks To Face Minnesota Wild In Round 2

  1. Nothing’s going to come easy this year, huh. Well, our guys are still better than their guys on paper, and the Hawks were able to beat a very very good goalie in the last round. If we are blessed with Good Brad Richards, and Skillful Andrew Shaw next round, they will handle the Wild. Not a bad time for a Hossa goal streak either, he’s more than due.

  2. This redesign looks like a million bucks on my phone. It is doubtful if any other fans from the other teams have anything this good. Way to go Tab! Top notch..or should I say top shelf. Don’t even need my reading glasses for the phone now. 10,000% improvement. Now its me, rather than my mining students, that is going to be sneaking peeks and fiddling with the phone in class. Looking forward big time to this matchup with Minny. As has been famously stated “What. me worry?”

    Predators destoyed, Wolverines or whatever that is, are next. The be speckled Yeo vs. Q. …ho ho ho.

  3. Dubynik has always been a goalie that gives up a lot of 2 nd chances are Hawks are deadly with those. Only the refs will keep it close.

  4. Frankly being a reader of HockeyBuzz.com but not a poster over there it gives me great pleasure to see the Blues knocked out. Trolling posters like ClownCar-cus and syscam deserve what they get … stop trolling on other people’s boards … karma is a bitch. That guy ClownCar-cus is the absolute worst … suck it ClownCar-cus.

    Doesn’t matter what the Blackhawks do vs. Minnesota, should be a good clean series which is more than one could say if the Blackahawks played St. Louis and their collection of scumbags. Hitchcock will be gone after this latest debacle and FUCK HIM and FUCK THEM is all I can say.

    Ok I’m done, Back to business here.

  5. Tab, Wow- love the mobile look and access as i am on road a lot (including now, after watching game last nite in Buffalo)! Great redesign, mucho Kudos.

    Minny is going to be a tough, tough test guys. Look forward to reading the matchup summaries, but they’re fast, physical and counterattack very effectively. This will place pressure on our slower D guys (hello 32), and require better puck control when entering zone (yes, that’s you 23.)

    The Hawks championship caliber team D capability showed its teeth last night after the switch, we’re going to need more of that next series. Going to be some tight and fast hockey, with plenty of OTs. Hawks in 7, buckle your seat belts!

  6. Tab…….nice new digs, pal. Thanks for this great place for true Hawk fans to vent and to praise our great team.

    Hitchcock looked totally in “shock” in the after game interviews. Although his defense of his goalie was praised by Kevin Weekes, in the end it will be what gets him fired. He totally was out coached and out matched by Mike Yeo. I heard that St. Louis is “all in” for Mike Babcock. He’ll clean house!!

    Our Hawks will have their hands full, but the Wild are really no better than the Preds. This is going to be a 6-7 game series, but it will be clean and exciting.

  7. I agree Hof, screw the Blues. I am sick of their dirty play. The Wild team speed will be tough to handle but we have more star power than they do. The Hawks will have to play better than they did last year against the Wild to beat them. Hopefully Crawford has his head back on straight because I assume he will be the starter. I would not want to bet against the Hawks.

  8. This will be another tough matchup – watched much of the MN/StL series and thought the Wild’s effort in game 3 may have been the best 60 minutes I saw this year – then they were horrible in game 4. I have no doubt that Crow will be In top form for the series. Very happy to see the Blues hit the golf course (although clearly not as happy as Hof!).

  9. Suter seemingly never off the ice. Parise in front of the net like he owns the place. Dubnyk stopping everything he sees. And let’s not forget Cooke who is still a cheap shot waiting to happen.

    Yep, this is going to be intense.

    Somehow, someway, Hawks win.

  10. Looking forward to seeing the boys match up against the Wild. There’s a lot of work to do to beat these guys, but if there is one thing we need to continue to win this series that we did well against the Preds – Faceoffs.

  11. Read all the posts after Game 6 clincher. Bannerman and Belfour – I could not agree more on your Crawford comments. I kept asking myself what would have happened if the first shot attempt had not hit the post. There was a huge hole on Crow’s glove side.

    Very worried about Wild. “Greasy” goals are a must! Go Hawks!

  12. Tab stellar new site. Professional extrodinairee. The Hawks are going to lose a couple games in this series, so I wlll continue to repeat over and over in case Q or Q representative is reading — Do NOT even have the thought of sitting out Desjardins cross your mind. Kruger Shaw and him are picture of consistency on both ends of ice; they look like they ve been playing together all season. Once again, thanks to Doug Wilson for the assistance.

  13. Great site design Tab. Looks fantastic on the mobile.

    Getting the first goal is a must against Minnesota. They are too good defensively and too effective on the counterattack. A 1-0 Wild lead can quickly turn to 2-0 and 3-0… and unlike Nashville, larger leads will not be relinquished.

    Minnesota can snuff out our stars with their defensive play and possession game. So I’m looking to our secondary scoring and offensive contributions from the blue line to get it done. Bickell is showing signs, so is Shaw. We need Versteeg/TT and Vermette to produce. A goal from Hammer or Oduya would be nice. If Minnesota can focus on shutting down two lines, then they will. If three or four of our lines are producing or dangerous, then somebody can play the role of bumslayer. The same can be said for the Wild.

    Prediction: Bumslayers decide the series. Toews, Kane, Sharp, Hossa with less than 5 points each in the series. Whoever scores the first goal wins every game. No game sees more than 5 goals scored. The quality of play resembles the conference finals vs. LA from last year. If secondary scoring shows up, Hawks in 6. If not, Wild in 7.

  14. Maybe I am resistant to change, but I preferred the old website. If its not broken don’t need to fix it. I think if Kane plays well the Wild will be beaten in 6. His goal at the end of the first period in game 6 against the Preds was AWESOME. I feel like Q is still trying to see who works best with Kane on the 2nd line. I would like to see T2 in some of these games. GO HAWKS

  15. The updated design Tab is excellent. Your efforts are much appreciated! On my smartphone the change is similar to moving from black and white to technicolor. My eyes couldn’t believe what they were seeing when I opened up Committed Indians on my phone yesterday morning! Thought something was wrong initially. Wonderful visual format.

    Speaking of yesterday morning, I was just exhausted, and it carried through all day. This previous series extracted a physical toll on me and I am sure the rest of you that watched, and attended many of the games. The late starts played a role in stretching the fatigue and lost sleep just adds up when we are dealing with back to back weeks. Watched a post game interview with Keith and his best comment was his desire for rest and being thankful some precious days would be there to re-charge. This rest is desperately needed for 2,4,7,27 in particular. It’s going to be all hands on deck for those guys a s deep as the Hawks can go as they move forward.

    While I might have saved this for the Preds close out thread, I will put it here. The Blues bowing out early yet again in playoffs has truly become a rite of Spring. Trees get leaves and Blues lose in the playoffs. It just happens. This team just defines what it means to underachieve. Even the hated Knuckleheads would get to conference finals and even Cup finals before imploding. These Blues teams just find a way to lose despite being talked up every year as being THE team to beat. The most factoid I saw yesterday was the reality of the Blues not winning an elimination game since 2000! That takes some very special qualities to achieve. You could hear the truck backing up in St Louis with a few minutes left in the Wild clinch game yesterday. Many must depart. Sorry Blues fans. Another summer of self loathing awaits and the question in their minds will echo every day of why????
    Good luck with selling season tickets down there next year!

    Sorry I couldn’t resist.

    Playing the Wild is like going in for a prostate exam. No fun, but it needs to get done. They trap, employ a nasty forecheck, and have a very fleet group that counter attacks like angry hornets. D men get pucks up ice and they can motor as well.

    These games will probably be tedious if the Wild control tempo, but withing a 7 game format I believe the Hawks will find ways toi break the Wild down. Hawks top skill guys are better then Minny imo and that will likely make the difference. We saw that of course with the game 6 clincher Sat night. The big boys stepped up in a huge way.

    Dubnyk will get the press and the media will pump up a Hawks goalie controversy that I believe is not an issue. Both Corey and Scott can play. While of course we anted CC to shine in the 1st round, getting Darling some experience in playoff atmosphere and a few wins under his belt was important in the bigger picture. Corey is a pro, and a seasoned Cup winner. I believe he gets his game back before the 2015 Cup run ends. Well said by another poster about that first shot Corey took after replacing Darling Saturday night. he misplayed it and it somehow stayed out of the net. If that goes in we are loading up on the Pepto and dreading a 7th game played in Nashville.I think we will look back on that one play as key in this playoff run.

    Good call ER on Cooke. His DNA doesn’t change and he will agitate around the edge of fair play. He has been against the Hawks BTW in the past.

    Hawks should beat these guys, but defensively they must to find a way to cut back on quality scoring chances. Hate to say it, but I think this one goes 7 deep to the Hawks.

    Does this start Wednesday or Thursday??

    Lets Go Hawks!!

  16. Not sure who I would have rather played. The STL goon system simply does not work in a long series. Hitchcock’s time in STL should be done. That said, I hate the Blues so I am glad the Wild won……even if I would rather played STL.

    IMO Q should go with Crawford. And to Mr. Darling, thanks for the huge assist and stay ready. Q should have both goalies on a short leash.

    Agreed that the fourth line of Desjardens, Krugs and Shaw stay together. It is time for Bickell to wake up and be the playoff force that SB is paying him to be. Bickell can make the 3d line work if he is on his game.

    Not sure we see TT in this series unless Versteeg is playing very poorly. No way we are going to see Nordy the rest of the way.

    Icehogs take 2 in Texas. I hope that Leighton wins the Calder. He is a pro hockey soldier even if he never earned a permanent spot on an NHL team

  17. Dubnyk and Price are really playing well. Dubnyk does at times give up more rebounds. I don’t think the WILD will be a big threat offensively so the games as with Preds will be close and close games unusually will go to the Hawks with Experience, patience and tenacious when they need to be. I like Hawks in close games and it’s where Hawks seem to thrive.

    Hawks will need a LOT OF NET FRONT Presence to BEAT Dubnyk! I’m not sure we have it consistently but this is where I think SHAW will really shine. Bick will show the average hawks fan why he is at center of the Cup Push, he’ll step up and stand up in front of the net. Richards to me has really proven himself, plays smart and is being physical. When you see Richards amping it up physically guys like Vermette take notice!

    PLUS leave the lines alone, show some patience. This will be way more physical series but well played, these two teams play the same, Hawks have more depth, but Wild sticks to the game plan and do a GREAT JOB CLEARING the Crease for Dubnyk! That is how they’ll win it if they do, raw strong physical defense and wait for Hawks’ Turnovers which for as good as we think the Hawks are they turn the puck over like crazy. Turnovers will kills us Wild is skilled enough to make you pay.

    If we can find a way to move up Rhundblad to replace our aged wonders ( i just like the kid) that would be smart he would provide the speed up ice and back checking and defensively they will really need. Otherwise ZACK will make them “slow pairings” look bad eventually and late game mistakes hurt.

  18. GREAT QUOTE BY Oshie of blue – “I think this is kind of always the same thing,” Oshie said. “Once we get to this time of year, there’s a strict game plan, and when we don’t follow that game plan as a whole, it doesn’t work. I don’t know what the game plan is for other teams, but ours needs all four lines, all the ‘D’ and the goaltender. We just didn’t have that for enough games.”

    As we say the HAWKS also need 4 lines to play great, too

  19. The Wild are going to be a tough team to beat as others have mentioned they use Speed, Forecheck, Physical and Counter-attack but offence isn’t one of them. Those goals they scored on St. Louis yesterday were absolutely brutal and the worse goaltending perhaps of any team in the playoffs.

  20. Hitch, should be fired. 10-17 In the playoffs with that roster, cmon. Backes should be traded. The guy isnt a leader he is a tool. Jake Allen & Elliot, wasnt going to cut it any one with any hockey sense should have seen that. Armstrong should be fired too. The Blues are a joke, that being said im sure everyone will stay and try again lol.

    Look at Nashville vs the Blues whose arrow is pointing up while the Blues is pointing down. Those were the 1 and 2 seed both out in round one. Seth Jones is a monster and phillip forsberg was a steal by David Poile.

    As for this series unfortunately im taking Minny. They ve been too hot since Dub was aquired. The being outshot trend will expose the Hawks and Dubnyk will stay hot Wild in 6 or 7 games. Minny is for real and will finally beat the Hawks after 2 years of being eliminated. Window closed Season over. I really hope im wrong.

  21. I agree with recent MTM and Goldenbladz comments. My great concern moving into Wild series is simple. Third d pairing just scares the hell out of me. 44 if he is near the puck makes good decisions. Otherwise, he cannot catch up to any quick plays that happen where he needs to be there to help. Rozy is a liability but finished out the Preds series trending better. I would like to see Timonen sit and Cumisky skate in his place as opposed to Rundblad. Put 4 with him and let the other groups fall where they may. Cumisky can at least bring the puck out with some speed and get to pucks quickly in d zone. Sadly, 44 can’t do any of that. I liked all the other SB acquisitions at the deadline. Timonen is done, and the more he plays the more glaring his lack of foot speed makes him a liability.

    Rest up everyone and

    Lets Go Hawks!!

  22. Mining man, I agree, the redesign is awesome, though I would say “bar down”! Very nice Tab.

  23. I work near St. Louis and all is quiet down here today! Just the way I like it!

    No more Backes, Ott… etc… as well as the butt holes from Van-Over!

    Looking forward to the Wild… They are a better team this year than last… They look fast (maybe that’s cuz the Blues are slow?)

    Looking forward to the Calgary/Anaheim series! It will be interesting to see who emerges too!

  24. I am not sure how many of you actually watched the STL/MIN series, for those that did, I am sure you are as concerned as I am about the Wild. In 6 games versus NSH the Hawks were outplayed, out skated, outhit, out checked, out passed, out everything except for out competed. The Hawks beat the Preds because we got outstanding goaltending from Scott Darling and the core of Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp, Keith and Seabrook simply wouldn’t let the Hawks lose. As another poster said, there were so many unbelievable turning points in the series for the Hawks that simply cut out the heart of the young Preds. The Hawks cannot hope to be so lucky against the Wild. They are as big and fast as the Preds, but they go harder to the net, they are more physical, and they check with greater intensity. Plus, there D is better.

    Someone said that Dubnyk gives up rebounds, which is true, DD plays a solid, upright game giving shooters very little to look at and as such a lot of pucks fall off of him into juicy spots. However, the trick is you have to fight like hell through the Wild D to get to these rebounds. When the Blues won, this is what they did. Hitchcock rolled 4 lines and all of them crashed the net, but when they lost he played his three skilled lines to “catch up” and they weren’t willing to pay the price.

    I will guarantee all of you this, if the Hawks win this series (which I doubt they will) they are going to have to score GREASY goals or it simply won’t happen! And I am very concerned about Q going with Richards, Kane and Versteeg again. If he does, that line will get killed. He has to keep Bickell up with Kane and Richards and if he dresses Versteeg (which I wouldn’t), he’ll have to skate with Vermette and Sharp. I completely agree with the other poster that said Shaw needs to stay on that 4th line, as does Desi. Nordstrom and TT shouldn’t play in this series, they are simply not tough enough mentally to handle what the Wild are going to bring. Which is wave after wave of strong forechecking, banging the body, looking for turnovers, and then a fast counter attack straight towards the net.

    The Hawks will need to have outstanding goaltending again, whoever it is in net, and they MUST get a 5th defenseman! The Hawks can survive with only 5 because Keith can skate two games in one, but he must have a second partner to work with. Roszival had an awful series against the Preds and was under duress the entire time. He played one decent game (in the triple OT affair) and the rest he struggled. Timonen wasn’t on the ice for a single 5 on 5 goal against the Preds but that was because he was never on the ice. In the triple OT game alone he skated only 12 minutes! The fact that Runbad hasn’t drawn in speaks volumes to just how little Q thinks of his game because Rozy and Timonen have been near useless.

    So in recap, the Hawks need to score gritty, greasy goals, they need to win the goaltending duel, they need to have a 5th Defenseman and they need to eliminate turnovers (which they handed the Preds all series long). They didn’t do any of these things during the regular season, nor against the Preds, so will they vs. the Wild? We will find out soon enough!

  25. @BB

    Im with you, i had posted earlier that i was picking the wild in 6 or 7 games. Who ever is sleeping on the wild havent seen them play much the last few months.

    This is the least confident i have been going into a matchup since the Nucks series after the purge.

  26. B&B…couldn’t agree more. If Roszival plays the way he did against the Preds, we’re done. Timonen experiment is over. I watched all of the Blues/Wild games and the Wild are playing head and shoulders better than us right now. The best plus is home ice – if we can somehow play tighter D and hold serve the first two games, we’ll have a chance.

  27. B&B – excellent assessment. The Wild is going to be an extremely tough test for the Hawks. We probably match up better against the Ducks thank with the Wild. It’s probably a good thing we have home ice because the Minny fans were rabid in game 6 and will be much the same vs. the hated Hawks who have taken them out the past two years.

    It reminds me a little bit of the Bulls continuously running into the Pistons and getting bounced each year before they finally got over the hump. This Wild team is much, much improved as clearly stated by B&B above. This could be year the Wild figures out their counter-punch. Either way, I see this thing going 7 games and it being a war. These are not your kid-brother wild. They are the kid-brother who is now bigger, stronger and faster.

  28. Good well thought out assessment B and B. Hawks can play better, while the Wild are at their best right now. This Hawks team has done well while underachieving in areas that need to theoretically get better or else chances of winning are reduced as level of competition increase in playoffs. Wild are no doubt about a tough match-up, as well they should be. Intangibles, bounces, calls, can provide razor thin margin for winning and losing. I kind of see the Wild as having momentum advantage starting this series. That can change quickly. It is a state of mind. The Hawks have to affect that change based on how they play home games to start this series. Let’s hope Hawks hold serve at home. It won’t be easy.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  29. Thanks ER. 86 is upgrade over 23, especially in terms of turnovers.

    Hey, Bicksy, it’s the Wild! Light the lamp! Even with the elevation of 29 I still worry about 2nd line getting caught in defensive zone for prolonged periods.

    Make the Wild EARN every goal.

  30. Boy Named Sioux – yep, my concern as well re: 29-91-88. I’m sure Q will give them exclusive o-zone starts but still concerning because Bickell can’t handle the pucl along the wall and has difficulty defending, Kane gets bodied, and Richards isn’t very quick. But, in the o-zone they should do well.

    I really like 86 getting back in there and the prospect of 10-80-86 to be a difference maker line in the series.

    Ultimately, I believe the Hawks prospects to advance is on the shoulders of Crawford. He has to be a .920+ guy or it will be very difficult if not impossible to beat the Wild. Rinne has the pedigree, but Dubnyk has been the better goalie between the two over the last couple months and it’s very unlikely the Hawks can give up soft goals and expect to score 3 or 4 against Dubnyk to win the game. CC is very capable of playing .920+ as he did all season long – but he has to get over the slow start “yips” he’s had and lock it down from puck drop. If he does, I like the Hawks chances.

  31. B&B, I agree with your premise but NOT the series outcome, here’s why. St.L’s Achilles heels are their inability to score paired with substandard goal-tending. Yes, they’re tough, big and have the young Russian kid, but their weaknesses played into the Wild’s strengths. In the only game they got to Dubnyk they scored plenty.

    The Hawks, in contrast, just worked over and harried the much more talented Renne, have a strong goaltending duo (CC and SD), and we can score, particularly when we are swarming and getting in front of goalie. Kane is almost back and that makes us even more dangerous. My biggest concern is getting caught in bad changes or blue-line turnovers in counterattack as these will be tight games and those are mojo killers.

    Bottom line, if our 29/65/11/23 guys are willing to pay the price we will take a hard fought series in 7.

  32. Jake Allen sucks and the Blues can’t score in the playoffs.

    Minnesota played well but they only scored as much as they did because Jake Allen sucks at being a goalie. SOG totals of 29, 25, 24, 18, 19, and 21 aren’t very scary. Sure, St. Louis is a damn good shot suppression team, but the Hawks gave up 13 shots to a desperate Predators’ team in the final 50 minutes on Saturday.

    I’d argue that Nashville has the best blue line in the NHL, rather than Minnesota. However, Nashville without Weber is not as good as a fully stocked Minnesota team.

    St. Louis didn’t struggle much to put attempts on the net, with Fenwick’s of 41, 41, 35, 35, 55, 54.

    If Crow can put up his playoff averages, I don’t see the Hawks losing this series.

  33. Southside, I agree, not since that Canucks series have I felt this concerned about the Hawk’s chances in advance.

    Tony, I would argue that even more important than Home Ice is First Goal! The Hawks need to play with a lead in this series to win.

    Ebonyraptor, thanks for that update, while I am concerned about TT’s mental toughness, his defensive game is far more complete than Versteegs. Plus, IMO TT is already a more polished passer and set up man than Versteeg.

    Phil, that is my hope, the Hawks can play A LOT better than they have, in fact I would argue that the NSH series saw the Hawks at some of their worst play all season long.

    Sioux, the key with Bickell on that line is offence and puck possession. The Wild clearly don’t like playing against Bicks and this will give Kane extra space whereas with Versteeg he wouldn’t have got any. If this line can give MIN trouble, Yeo will have to take focus off of the Toews line which might kill the Wild. As good as they are, the Wild are not elite on defence, they’re just tough.

    Negzz, I want don’t want to be right, I want you to be right and the Hawks win. As Phil said, our main hope is this, we have not played near our potential yet in the playoffs.

  34. A key matchup in this series, if history is our teacher, kill be Koivu on Toews. Koivu has played Toews pretty effectively and has seemed to have frustrated Toews. Whereas home ice didn’t matter very much against the Preds (IMO), it could matter more against the Wild so Q has the extra game to keep the Toews line away from Koivu (not to mention Suter, who seems to never leave the ice).

    The wild have speed on all 4 lines so it will be imperative to not get caught pinching (2/4/7/27) or flatfooted (32/44). And someone mentioned line changes – ah … yeah. Avoiding badly timed line changes will be a factor as well.

  35. Phil – At least its not a cystoscopy

    Sucks for all of the Blues 12 fans. I’m assuming Wednesday Friday Sunday for the Hawks?

  36. Ebonyraptor, that was a very good post. I agree completely about the Wild’s team speed and the Hawk’s tendency to pinch. The problem with both Rozy and Timonen, is that they can have position and angle on the Wild forwards and still watch while they skate past them. There isn’t a single way to protect Rozy or Timonen against the Wild (like Q tried to do vs. NSH), if they play significant minutes the Hawks will be compromised (both offensively and defensively). Which is why I predicted before the playoffs started that the Hawks wouldn’t get past the second round (either the Blues or the Wild). If Q skates the Toews line with Rozy and Timonen, then their offence will be non existent skating 3 against 5, and there’s still no way for Toews to defend against a turnover and an odd man rush against these two. The Wild spell trouble for Chicago and without the Darling-like goaltending in Round one, it could get ugly, even in Chicago where NSH had us running around regularly.

  37. Iceman, SAN is a good trade partner. Seeing those guys 11/16/65 work well together is a good sign. It means only going to get stronger.

    Phil, that’s what matters. We can play a lot better (consistently) then we did against NAS and why playing MIN is going to make us better then playing STL. NAS prepared us better then STL did for them (NAS played really good where STL did not). People are going to think that their better right now but (know) they do not have a higher level to go to. By playing a very good team like them, we are going to take it to another level just like we did against the redwings. That was when we started to play really good (for us) which made a diff. against LA and BOS. When all the media talked them up before we played.

  38. the two least hitting teams in the entire league equals fast highly skilled and totally entertaining hockey.

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