Wild Dominate Blackhawks, Tie Series

The only positive for Blackhawks fans on Friday night was the NHL (finally) announcing a start time for Sunday’s Game Five at the United Center.

Chicago went into the Xcel Energy Center and were thoroughly owned by the Minnesota Wild, losing 4-2 in their worst performance of the 2014 playoffs.

Crawford MIN

Patrick Sharp and Michal Handzus scored the two goals for the Hawks, and Marian Hossa had assists on both goals. But that is the extent of the positive in the box score from this debacle.

Coach Joel Quenneville mixed up the lines to, in theory, spread out the offense but the Hawks generated nothing from three lines. The bottom line of Brandon Bollig, Joakim Nordstrom and Jeremy Morin were led by Morin’s 7:09 in the game; Bollig, who took a ridiculously dangerous and stupid boarding penalty late in the second period saw only 4:44 in the game.

Bollig wasn’t the only player to take a less-than-ideal penalty in the game, and the parade to the box caught up to the Hawks early in the third period. Trailing only 3-2 in spite of 40 mediocre minutes, Duncan Keith and Michal Rozsival each took a penalty within the first 3:30 of the final period. Minnesota scored an insurance goal while Rozsival was in the box to effectively put the game away.

Rozsival had a bad night, but he was far from alone in that regard. He skated 16:23 in the game and led the team with two hits, but struggled to handle the puck all night.

Marcus Kruger led the team with three shots on net and 3:54 in short-handed ice time, and was almost collateral damage after Bollig boarded Keith Ballard. Jared Spurgeon extended both an elbow (towards Kruger’s head) and a knee at Kruger on the power play resulting from the Bollig penalty, and Kruger left the ice in pain. Thankfully, he did return for the third period.

Patrick Kane blocked as many shots – two – as he put on net in the game, tying for the team-high with Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. Jonathan Toews played 23:22 in the game and was the only Hawks player to win more than 50 percent of his faceoffs; Toews won 15 of 29 in the game.

For Minnesota, Justin Fontaine started the scoring in the first period and Jason Pominville gave the Wild the lead back early in the second. Nino Niederreiter scored the game-winner less than one minute after Handzus tied the game, and Spurgeon added the power play goal in the third to close the books.

Corey Crawford had his worst night of the postseason, allowing four goals against 31 shots in the loss. Ilya Bryzgalov, who started the game as shaky as Crawford, settled down after the Hawks’ second goal and played a strong third period. Bryzgalov faced only 20 shots in the game, with two getting past him.

The Blackhawks have been held to 22 or fewer shots only eight times in 85 playoff games since 2003, and four of those have come in this series.

Sunday night’s game is scheduled for 8:00 pm CT at the United Center.

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49 Responses to Wild Dominate Blackhawks, Tie Series

  1. morrison says:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BnPyG6HIcAAsmJt.jpg

    &

    Another 5min major, no suspension(65), called 2min.

    &

    We need to play Blackhawk Hockey, no excuses.

  2. Disappointed says:

    Dominated is right on

    Hawks looked ill prepared and like they just do not care

  3. Dickie Dunn says:

    Tab, thank you – you really pretty much covered it.

    OK, at the expense of being a “fair weather fan”, the Hawks SUCKED!! To me, it seemed like the effort they delivered was based on the belief that their reputation would win this game. Oh, they show-up ONLY when the game or series is on the line.

    I hate to shit on Crawford – too much of the play was not Chicago scoring chances, and he made some big stops – but, two WEAK goals, including Niederreiter 44 seconds after Handzus tied it. And, 20 shots is fuckin’ embarrassing.

    If back-against-the-wall motivation is necessary, the Hawks played (not played) into that, so, Have At It!!!! (The Fair Weather Fan speaking again, *if* the Hawks are eliminated by the Wild, EVERYONE who bought Convention tickets should DEMAND a refund to provide positive/accurate feedback.)

  4. Sr. Brad says:

    Uh oh…don’t look know but Coach Q and the Hawks are in trouble…Q has been pushing the panic button almost all playoffs, from the git go really, with brand new, often odd lines, benchings and other punitive measures…in fact after 4 games its Mike Yeo that looks and sounds like the seasoned veteran and Q the young coach trying to find a way to win.

    Even after the 2 tough losses for the Wild in CHI, Yeo said all the right things and stood behind his players. Even with 2 wins, Q did not say the right things…he played mind games with the younger players, made some fairly desperate moves with his lineup. MIN skated 4 lines and Yeo trusted his players to do the right things…Q played 2 and 1/2 lines and benched a myriad of players during the game, and scratched Kris Versteeg once again.

    I mean this is almost comical. Bollig has been useless in this series and clearly is skating without really knowing what to do (lack of confidence), Nordstrom is starting to really struggle in this series and is in over his head, Handzus has been torched throughout the playoffs as a 5 on 5 skater, and is now once again centring essentially our 2nd line with Sharp and Hossa…and he can’t win a F/O in our zone if his life depended on it. Morin did a lot of things right, and certainly goes to the net, but he is starting to skate tentatively again, as if he is unsure of himself out there. And now we are seeing it from Nick Leddy and even Ben Smith tonight. The mind games with Leddy have NOT WORKED…he was playing fine, and tonight he was very tentative. Q UNBELIEVABLY took Smith off the 2nd line centre role tonight (WHY???) and when he accidentally flipped a puck into the stands, he was immediately benched and dumped to the 4th line centring Bollig and Nordstrom…again, unf$cking believable.

    Rozy is the DMan who is slow, tired, and turnover prone, not Leddy, and yet veterans like Rozy and Zus can do no wrong, whereas all the kids are getting into trouble every few minutes. Now who’s the better coach right now???

    We are at great risk of losing this series. Shaw is out…Toews is being over taxed. We have completely given up on rolling 4 lines. Most games we can’t even field 3 full lines…and yet Kris Versteeg and Peter Regin are rotting on the bench while Bollig, Handzus and Nordstrom are in, and in over their heads.

    I can’t really even believe what I am watching during these playoffs. These are not the actions of the defending SC champions. MIN who hasn’t won sh$t look like the composed veterans, even when they lost, and we look like the desperate challengers…what gives? And again, how did we go from the deepest roster in the NHL to barely fielding 3 lines just in time for the playoffs? We won 5 straight towards the end of the year playing simple hockey and rolling 4 lines. Regin, Morin, Bickell were our best line…and now rookie Nordstrom is making mistakes all over the ice? Again, what gives?

    And finally, Crawford has been outplayed the last 2 games by Bryz…and this just can’t happen. CC made a number of great saves tonight, but he let in 2 brutal goals exactly where he CAN’T let goals in and give away momentum. The Wild fans had every right to raz CC tonight, his head was in and out of the game many times, and it was Bryz who seemed to be a rock mentally.

    Either Q starts fielding our best lineup, with Ben Smith back at 2nd line Centre, and perhaps BB in for Rozy, or we are going to lose this series. MIN got robbed in game 1. They know they can play and dominate in CHI. They have all the momentum and their players are playing with great confidence. They didn’t miss a single beat without Moulson tonight, and Cooke was once again a thorn in the Hawks side…and we have a bunch of players who are playing without any confidence…

  5. Sr. Brad says:

    Uh oh…don’t look know but Coach Q and the Hawks are in trouble…Q has been pushing the panic button almost all playoffs, from the git go really, with brand new, often odd lines, benchings and other punitive measures…in fact after 4 games its Mike Yeo that looks and sounds like the seasoned veteran and Q the young coach trying to find a way to win. Even after the 2 tough losses for the Wild in CHI, Yeo said all the right things and stood behind his players. Even with 2 wins, Q did not say the right things…he played mind games with the younger players, made some fairly desperate moves with his lineup. MIN skated 4 lines and Yeo trusted his players to do the right things…Q played 2 and 1/2 lines and benched a myriad of players during the game, and scratched Kris Versteeg once again…Part 1…

  6. Sr. Brad says:

    I mean this is almost comical. Bollig has been useless in this series and clearly is skating without really knowing what to do (lack of confidence), Nordstrom is starting to really struggle in this series and is in over his head, Handzus has been torched throughout the playoffs as a 5 on 5 skater, and is now once again centring essentially our 2nd line with Sharp and Hossa…and he can’t win a F/O in our zone if his life depended on it. Morin did a lot of things right, and certainly goes to the net, but he is starting to skate tentatively again, as if he is unsure of himself out there. And now we are seeing it from Nick Leddy and even Ben Smith tonight. The mind games with Leddy have NOT WORKED…he was playing fine, and tonight he was very tentative. Q UNBELIEVABLY took Smith off the 2nd line centre role tonight (WHY???) and when he accidentally flipped a puck into the stands, he was immediately benched and dumped to the 4th line centring Bollig and Nordstrom…again, unf$cking believable…Part 2…

  7. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Has this team ran out of gas? Because they look like they have!

  8. Sr. Brad says:

    Rozy is the DMan who is slow, tired, and turnover prone, not Leddy, and yet veterans like Rozy and Zus can do no wrong, whereas all the kids are getting into trouble every few minutes. Now who’s the better coach right now??? We are at great risk of losing this series. Shaw is out…Toews is being over taxed. We have completely given up on rolling 4 lines. Most games we can’t even field 3 full lines…and yet Kris Versteeg and Peter Regin are rotting on the bench while Bollig, Handzus and Nordstrom are in, and in over their heads. I can’t really even believe what I am watching during these playoffs. These are not the actions of the defending SC champions. MIN, who hasn’t won sh$t, look like the composed veterans, even when they lost, and we look like the desperate challengers…what gives? And again, how did we go from the deepest roster in the NHL to barely fielding 3 lines just in time for the playoffs? We won 5 straight towards the end of the year playing simple hockey and rolling 4 lines. Regin, Morin, Bickell were our best line…and now rookie Nordstrom is making mistakes all over the ice? Part 3…

  9. Sr. Brad says:

    Finally, Crawford has been outplayed the last 2 games by Bryz…and this just can’t happen. CC made a number of great saves tonight, but he let in 2 brutal goals exactly where he CAN’T let goals in and give away momentum. The Wild fans had every right to raz CC tonight, his head was in and out of the game many times, and it was Bryz who seemed to be a rock mentally. Either Q starts fielding our best lineup, with Ben Smith back at 2nd line Centre, and perhaps BB in for Rozy, or we are going to lose this series. MIN got robbed in game 1. They know they can play and dominate in CHI. They have all the momentum and their players are playing with great confidence. They didn’t miss a single beat without Moulson tonight, and Cooke was once again a thorn in the Hawks side…and we have a bunch of players who are playing without any confidence, and it seems our coach is the same way. End…

  10. Sr. Brad says:

    Finally, Crawford has been outplayed the last 2 games by Bryz…and this just can’t happen. CC made a number of great saves tonight, but he let in 2 brutal goals exactly where he CAN’T let goals in and give away momentum. The Wild fans had every right to raz CC tonight, his head was in and out of the game many times, and it was Bryz who seemed to be a rock mentally. Either Q starts fielding our best lineup, with Ben Smith back at 2nd line Centre, and perhaps BB in for Rozy, or we are going to lose this series. MIN got robbed in game 1. They know they can play and dominate in CHI. They have all the momentum and their players are playing with great confidence. They didn’t miss a single beat without Moulson tonight, and Cooke was once again a thorn in the Hawks side…and we have a bunch of players who are playing without any confidence, and it seems our coach is the same way.

  11. ebonyraptor says:

    It’s not time to write an epitaph, after all the series is tied with the Hawks having home ice in what is now a best of three mini-series, but it sure feels like something gave up the ghost tonight. Maybe it was my hope for a Stanley Cup repeat or maybe just my hope that the Hawks can once again summon up the will to even just win another game the way they did against Nashville in 2010 and against Detroit last season and even in a little less dramatic fashion against St. Louis in the first round. I’ve learned to not count out the Hawks because they have proven to be worthy of the title champion more than once and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they grab back control of this series and move on to the WCF … it is, as they say, always darkest before the dawn and maybe it dawns on the Hawks that they have to fight and kick and claw to beat the Wild – simply throwing their reputations on the ice won’t get it done. Hopefuly the dawning comes on Sunday night.

  12. Mining Man says:

    Sharp-Handzus-Hossa line was pretty effective but thats about it. Did Bickell play? says 17 minutes but in what rink? We saw foreshadowings of this since mid December from the team…Wild really work hard but we are the better team, but the work ethic wins out. Seabrook played really well but had a look as if to say ” what do we have to do to beat these guys”. He looked exasperated, even shocked. Cooke really drives me crazy. We need Shaw back, and in a hurry. Versteeg is perfectly suited to our game, perfect fit for this team, whats going on? We cant win playing 2.5 lines against 4. Thought this was done in five but its going to seven. We all know we can do better, but will we?

  13. Travis says:

    Wow. What a game by Minnesota. It is very impressive to hold the Hawks to 20 SOG, and the stat that Tab posted (4th straight game under 23 SOG) is impeccable. Their puck support was fantastic. They always outnumbered the Hawks in the puck area. They won almost every board battle. They blocked shots and disrupted passes. They were excellent with their sticks. It was an exceptionally impressive performance.

    They played the perfect game.

    That said, we missed the net on too many chances, in a karma performance of games 1 and 2. We didn’t create space with tiny picks and bumps. No one-touch passes. Few grind-it-out desperation board battles. And too many freaking bobbled pucks and poor passes. Only about 5 Hawks are doing the little things right. Their whole team is.

    There’s only one answer: we need some secondary player to step up and shine. We need a Neiderreiter or a Cooke or a Stoner. Their depth is crushing ours, and if our secondary players don’t have an answer, we’re reliant on Crawford or sub-par Wild play to advance.

  14. Mining Man says:

    Cooke, Stoner, Bryz, Yeo, vs. Blackhawks…come on, no way this happens. Keep the faith!

  15. ebonyraptor says:

    The Hawks are in the “caught in between” dilemma where if they try to slow things down to make good plays the Wild forecheck jumps them, but if they try to make quick plays they end up bobbling the puck or just dumping it out in the neutral zone where the Wild get it back. I realize every season is a new season, but the lack of composure from a championship team is surprising. Compounding the problem is that two players in particular are struggling with the Wild’s speed and the result is the puck in the Hawks net too often. Handzus and Rozsival simply can’t handle the quickness of the Wild players and have been caught out of position too many times and it’s hurting the Hawks. Yes, both of them have done some good things and if the Hawks get past the Wild, they can still be important players for the Hawks – but they are liabilities against the speed of the Wild.

  16. RyanDale says:

    most nights the result is pretty equal to the effort. this game might as well be the instructional video for that. All the comments are spot on. Duck is right, we sucked. Brad is correct in saying Q is likely compounding the issues. Mo knows we aren’t playing Bhawk hockey. Travis stated our worthy opponents mettle. Miner can see 65 is needed asap. SouthSider rightfully asks if we’ve hit ‘E’. Dis was dom or vice versa and ebonyraptor is, as usual a voice calling for calm and rationale. He’s never wrong there. Plenty of blame and questions will be passed. 50 was a huge disappointment and that shocked me. Him playing subpar 2 nights in a row is beyond rare. Rozy was awful, we were well off at the dot, took too many penalties and WHY THE HELL is 52 on our bench? That is beyond anything I can even discuss without getting pissed.

    I’m taking raptors lead. We are 2-2 in what most thought was a pretty tough Rd2 , going 6ish. We are not in need of a panic pill. 19 will be the pied piper and will us to something positive Sunday, 50 will be a rock, Q will get scolded by the Mrs. and stop some of the nonsense, 22,000 loonies will watch in person, Bryz will be Bryz, and by 11pm we will espouse our belief in returning to defend our names upon the Cup, edition 13. The ride isn’t suppose to be easy. Our boys aren’t done just yet, lotta hockey left. We still in charge..

  17. Mike says:

    Great comments and most are right on. Even those who are OK with 3 lines admit that last night was an abomination of coaching by Q and reflected in their play. I just do not understand the lines from the last 2 games. Q is reacting instead of dictating. Always a bad way for the better team to play. It equalizes the game, or worse, puts the game in the opponents hands. Looks like that stretch just after the Olympic break where we were playing “not to lose”.

    Is this series over……F no. Do the Hawks and Q need to change their outlook, absolutely. Q likes veterans, we all know that. But Bollig, Handzues and Rosy are not the answer. And if Leddy, Morin and Bickell play the “I better not make a mistake” game, the team will suffer. When Q moved Zues back to the second line I had to go take a crap.

    Hockey is the ultimate team sport. We see that playing not to lose is allowing a low scoring team to put up 8 goals in 2 games while our chances were few and far between.
    We need Shaw because his enthusiasm spreads to the rest of the team.

    29 19 88
    10 28 81
    20 12 or 16 65
    11 16 or 12 23
    2 7
    4 27
    8 17

  18. wall says:

    Travis- you get it!!! The Wild are the deeper/better team- pretty simple.

    Mike- Q has to “React” because the Wild/Yeo are completely dictating play!!!
    Like I said the other day…Q’s best chance of winning this series- is to play that boring ass way of Game 3– and Hope we get the 1st goal/lucky bounce/Bad Bryz moment…

    As stated earlier in the year- Hawks aren’t as good/deep as last year…Further proof is Q (as mentioned by Brad) is skating 2 1/2 lines in the PO’s…

    Remind me why Hawks couldn’t find a way to keep 67 or 36… but they can afford to keep 23 on bench and 26 on ice??????????

    Wild proved why its better to pay the players in front of the goalie…Wild can win this series with one of the shittiest goalies in the PO’s… cuz the guys in front of the goalie understand DEFENSE and checking!!!

    JS – What’s up???

    Wild’s younger role players are better/deeper than Hawks… Hawks can’t break free for any room on ice… Hawks need some young/hungry bucks who can skate/compete/High IQ…

  19. StanIsTheMan says:

    10/19/88
    23/28/81
    29/12/11
    20/16/42 until 65 returns

  20. Sr. Brad says:

    My question Wall is how did we come to have such a short bench so quickly? You have to admit, late this season, with the injuries to Toews and Kane, we had 4 lines rolling and we were winning hockey games and EVERYONE around the league was talking about the Hawk’s depth…so much so, Teen Idol TT couldn’t even get into the lineup. Smith IS our answer at 2nd line centre…who knows about TT, but I do know about Smith. Kruger was our 4th line Centre for the better part of 3 seasons, and now he’s our 3rd line RW, or our 2nd line Centre??? Versteeg’s knee is fine, he’s won a SC with us, and he’s a smart veteran player than can excel at both ends of the ice, but HE SITS while Bollig dresses??? And if you are going to move Kruger back, then Regin becomes your 4th line Centre. Zus is being used as a “specialty” player, and as such should be our 12th forward ONLY! Even with Shaw injured, the players and the lines are there to roll 4…and why break up Toews/Bickell/Hossa??? That’s just f’ing stupid.

    Bickell-Toews-Hossa
    Sharp-Smith-Kane
    Saad-Kruger-Morin
    Zus-Regin-Versteeg

    Seabrook-Keith
    Hammer-Oduya
    Leddy-Brookbank

    This lineup will beat the wild.

  21. Sr. Brad says:

    As recent as 2 games ago, we had 2 dominating lines…Bickell-Toews-Hossa and Sharp-Smith-Kane…Kane was flying high because Smith put him consistently in position to score. Why DEVIATE from this? And how does Nordstrom centre the 3rd line instead of Kruger who was born to be a 3rd line centre? Put Kruger, Saad and Morin together, and they will dominate too, giving us, once again, 3 strong lines. Regin and Versteeg will ensure the 4th line does their job, and that’s it. You know the Crawford will rebound from last night, but Q has to make these changes.

  22. Ernie says:

    A few things. I hope Bollig is suspended so Q can’t play him. Come on man! Rozsival had a brutal game. Can’t skate, way too many turnovers. 1 led directly to a goal and a putrid showing defensively on Niederietter’s goal. Was a shot Crawford needed to male though. STOP WITH THE STRETCH PASSES. They don’t work against a team like this. Leads to too many turnovers and odd man rushes. Put Regin in for Bollig and actually play him. You can roll 4 lines if your fourth has Regin, Kruger, Morin. Please put Brookbank in for Roszival…pretty please. Oh and wake these guys up.

  23. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    The Hawks have once again hit the Cup hangover wall. They survived an clawed back somehow before. Is there enough left in the tank to do it again? Sorta. The Hawks absolutely dispatch of Minnesota. But the 3rd round against the Kings might finally be the end of the line, which to be honest is a lot further then I thought they could get based on assessment since early January.

    Awful game last night. Keith played like he was sick and tired of hockey. Leddy and Rosival where flat out horrendous. Toews looks wiped out like he did last year versus Detroit and LA. Hawks aren’t getting enough out of Saad. Kruger looks exhausted. Smith is becoming exposed in a heightened role. A healthy Shaw and his manical nature on the ice is severely missed. And Crow isn’t getting the help he needs. Meanwhile Morin the Rockford Wonder Dog sucked shit again. Versteeg isn’t the answer either because he has been a severe liability as well.

    But alas Brad is going to point to Bollig and Handzus as the primary causation for a loss. Brauckkk !!

  24. Sr. Brad says:

    BTW, great comments RD, Mike, ER, Wall, etc…

    Toews needs to just play hockey and not try to be Superman, which he is not. Toews is my favourite hockey player of all time, BUT, all he needs to do is ensure that his line wins the +/- battle every game. If every line did this, we wouldn’t ever lose. If they are going to play a tight checking game against us, then we MUST do the same to them and wait for our opportunities. Its one thing to only have 19 shots on goal, BUT its a whole other thing when we give up 31. Kane was not interested in back checking, for the 2nd straight game, after he lost the puck. EVERYONE must commit to team defence, and the offence will find a way!

  25. Sr. Brad says:

    Ernie, good comments, but our guys don’t need to be waken up…they are the champs…but they need to be put into positions where they can succeed…and that’s coaching. As you said, the 4 lines are there, all it takes is for Q to dress them. Wall and others said this BEFORE game 1…for the Hawks to repeat we are going to have to skate our 12 best forwards and 6 best DMen…we are NOT doing this. How is Regin not playing is beyond me? Shaw’s hurt? Kruger is your 3rd line centre and Regin is your 4th…end of story. If Q wants Zus so bad, fine, he’s your 12th forward. Do these simple changes and we will win.

  26. BarryB says:

    No need to panic yet. Disregard anything that Wall guy says, I remember him saying the same things last year, broken record …

    Hawks had some jump in the first five minutes of the game and then it disappeared, they need a 60 minute effort to take down Minny, they are a well rounded team that is hungry. Their best players are outplaying our best. I though Hoss was strong again the rest of our stars need to step it up and lead. Enter Capt. Serious.

    Crow had an off night for sure and Bickell was invisible. Rosy has to step it up and play like the veteran he is. Hopefully Q stops the blender with the return of Shaw. I get moving Smith from 2C since Koivu has rendered him ineffective, but not sure why the dramatic shake up.

    I predict the Hawks will win this in 6 true to their formula.

  27. ebonyraptor says:

    After a nights sleep, the fog of despondancy has diffused and the world is clearer to see. With this renewed clarity, I re-read the posts from last night and it dawned on me that the most obvious shortcoming was being obscured by talk of other things. While line combinations and which secondary players dress versus sit is important and has an impact on the game, the most glaring shortcoming in the last two games are the Hawks star players being neutralized. Sometimes that’s OK when the Hawks have the edge in the bottom-6 forwards and the 3rd d-pairing, but that isn’t the case against the Wild.

    For the Hawks to win this series, Toews, Hossa, Kane, Sharp, Saad and Bickell have to be decidedly better than Parise, Koivu, Pominville, Granlund, Coyle and Maulson. The Hawks star players need to be the difference makers, and if they aren’t, then Haula, Niederreiter and Cooke will be – regardless which players dress for the game and what the line combo’s are.

    The Hawks star players have shown they can rise to the occasion before and they will have to do it again on Sunday for the Hawks to win th game and the series. Plain and simple – the Hawks best players need to be the best players on the ice.

  28. Negzz says:

    Brutal. Ugly. Disappointing. Obviously- Crawford was TERRIBLE last nite and we’ll need far more from him back at the UC. That said, he was not alone. Rozy needs a rest, Bicks disappeared and 88 was all about the perimeter.

    ER- good point on key players needing to win their own line battles. Looks to me like our difficulties reflect matchups that Yeo has been able to dictate in Minny as Q is (again) outsmarting himself with the mix-master approach and allowing Yeo to dictate how he pairs lines- which is obviously not working.

    Minny is a much better team with a year under their belt featuring 11 and 20. Colo found that out and Hawks are learning the hard way as the Wild have arguably outplayed the Champs in at least 3 of the 4 games (scores aside.)

    If Q continues to react by mixing bizarre line combos and compounding the problem by sticking with 52 and Zus in the lineup it’s not going to end well imho. I picked Hawks in 6 and they’ll need to turn it up Sunday to regain some mojo if that’s going to happen.

  29. wall says:

    BarryB- difference between this year and last…a few

    1st – The high octane Hawks O- is getting out shot… (by a “Defensive oriented team”)
    2nd – Q knows Hawks ain’t deep/good enough- hence he is skating- “the better players” more than last year…(and still being out shot)
    3rd- Hawks couldn’t beat the “Wild system” during season– what has changed???
    besides Wild are playing even better than Reg. season…

    Hawks aren’t getting many scoring chances- cuz- the Wild “Frolik/role-types are better than 26,23,42,52,11!!!” pretty simple.

    The only way the Hawks pull this off– Bryz shits his pants…which is ALWAYS a chance… but he hasn’t even been tested in last 2 games… Q will have advantage w/ last line change…don’t know if that will be enough.

  30. RyanDale says:

    good stuff, sleeping rendered me nothing more than a migraine and even more confused why Q is acting as if we are desperately chasing around 99s Oil Crew. He shows no confidence in what was workable for 6Ws, and he comes across as panic stricken by continually throwing crap at the wall, in hopes it sticks. He needs a good slap to snap him back to reality. Mrs. Q, please.

    Agree er, our big guns can make this all moot by tuesday night. Sharp scored, so expect more right? Our pace will quicken at home, which the top players thrive on. Step one. Put the top 2 lines back where they belong, we all know who goes where.

    wall, are you playing those old 78s again, or 45s ?!

  31. CJ says:

    Sr. Brad- your lines are probably the most realistic and I agree that lineup can best the Wild. Right now the Hawks’ offense is clearly struggling. I remember last year against Boston in the SCF I always thought if the Hawks got at least 30/35 shots against Rask, we should win. Now, against Bryzgalov, I am praying they get 22 shots!!! The Hawks are making him look like an average goaltender…

  32. Steve B says:

    good comments, worst game I have seen in a bit of time. I need some help. Does anyone need 2 tickets for Sunday? I have 2 100 level. Man the schedule has been tough. I would sell for way under face.

    Tab do you know anyone who could use them? Sec 311, on aisle to 312, so on the turn. tdfxman@yahoo.com is the email. The Mrs. will kill me if I can’t sell these.

    Shaw makes a line he is on go, so does Smith. The 4th line now doens’t have 16 or smith lol, wow.

    Whoever wins game 5 wins the series.

  33. Ernie says:

    I said wake up because the Hawks have played somewhat lazily. They were being out skated, and out worked. Not to mention out hit, but that’s obviously a given. Making way too many mistakes with passes and didn’t seem to have a sense of urgency until 12 minutes left. Which seemed to be when they stopped the stretch passes as much. What worked against the Blues won’t work against the Wild.

  34. Reg Dunlop says:

    From the look of things, the Hawks were reading the papers and listening to the sports radio knuckleheads and hearing how they were going to walk all over the Wild in five games. Well, what we have all seen from the Wild is a team that now believes that it can beat the Hawks and win the series.

    The Hawks do have home ice advantage and, right now, that is the only thing that we can hang our hat on. Q needs to open his eyes and put back the lines that work well together and stop benching players that do not deserve to be benched. He is “over coaching” this team right now.

    This is a 7 game series, so let’s see where this all goes………………….

  35. noonan96 says:

    Bad game and the hawks are in some trouble but Wild” deeper, better team” Wow!
    It is frustrating to see a very good team look ordinary but I wouldn’t trade teams and they just need to win their 6th home game in a row-
    watch your ankles guys!!

  36. CJ says:

    I don’t know if I am the only one, but did anyone else seem to think the Hawks looked cautious every time Cooke was on the ice? On the first goal Rozy just made a bad play but throughout they seemed to keep looking behind for him. The one play in particular was when Leddy was skating by the bench and when Cooke skated over, he looked so surprised and he just stopped skating.

  37. phil says:

    Good comments and observations one and all. Talk about getting torched? That was clearly the worst game we have seen this team play in the post season for years. I seem to remember a home game # 4, was it last year at the UC, where they really stunk the joint out pretty bad against the Wings that put us down 1-3… The Wild simply won the vast majority of loose pucks where there was a contest. They were first to the puck almost all night. They were faster, and most importantly wanted it more that the Hawks. In a warped funny kind of way the Bollig DF boarding penalty points to how horribly bad the Hawks physical game was last night. Simply superfluous to say anything else, except score was closer than it should have been.

    Two games now in a row where Bryzz could have fallen asleep due to lack of Hawks offense that was probably 75% muted by the Wild. Really, the offensive effort these past 2 games has to be as low as it can go. Lines were strange, got mixed up more as things got worse. It was clearly an act of desperation. Q must play strength to strength now moving forward. Wild should NOT be pushing Hawks buttons!

    Wild get huge credit. Hats off to a great effort from them. Hawks get the raspberries. So it’s put up or shut up tomorrow night. I have to believe we have a good game from this Hawks group. They will be playing for pride at a minimum. They now have something to prove to themselves, and their fans whom by the way, will not be very forgiving tomorrow at the UC if the wheels come off.

    Strong showing tomorrow by the Hawks and we will look back on this mess from last night as the wakeup call. Winning in playoffs is about rising to meet challenges and adversity. The Cpt knows what to do and I expect him to lead by example tomorrow. Looking forward to being there tomorrow night.

    Lets Go Hawks!!

  38. wall says:

    Noonan… no I WOULDN’T TRADE TOP HAWK forwards for Wild’s…
    but their “role Players” … bottom 4-6… guys like Coyle, Haula, Granlund, Fontaine…

    are out skating/checking/smarting/working Hawk’s bottom tier – 52,26,42,11,23 to the point where Q is afraid to skate them…

  39. Travis says:

    Phil hit the nail on the head. Winning in the play0ffs is about rising to the challenge. The Wild secondary players are doing that. The Hawk secondary players aren’t. It’s not that the Wild are deeper. We clearly have more talent. The difference is that the Wild are getting far more out of what they have. Is that Q’s problem? Probably. But we still have what it takes to win.

  40. michael petan says:

    Well it wasn’t all that dominating for as weak as the Hawks performance was. If Coach Q has to juggle lines to get effort then we’re in trouble. Line Chemistry is critical in the NHL. Not a fan of his line juggle as when then do it a goal “fools” claim brilliant i say weak coaching. The Hawks can not an never have Dominated anyone. Each Cup could have gone the other way. The Hawks are not “physical enough” across the board. The SMARTEST thing Eddie O said last night was, “the hawks are small and not physical that is allows a player like SUTTER to practically play the entire game.” They seldom finish a check and have maybe 3 guys who can actually go into a corner and physically owe the puck and take it away. I say as always if the Hawks dont play 125% ( like bulls) they’re average, the have average goalie in Crawford so he won’t pull a game out like this, and if they have 4 line playing n great they win otherwise they can be pushed around and get pushed around very very easily. Not Rocket Science, dump it in, beat the under sized hawks defensemen to the puck, play the body like they did KANE, just play him not the puck, lightest guy in hockey tale him down. Hawks need more MORIN (jimmy hayes) type build players, Smith, Saad and Marcus all the same dude. Need some size , need to finish checks, needs to get to the net and have a net Presence. Shaw is missing and that hurts but Hawks have lots of skaters and stick handlers, need balance! they will bounce back, the WILD is very average that is how poorly the hawks are and are playing. Crawford proved his averageness reguardless of stats, Rask is the only Goal Tender to me who can actually win a series, the rest are good. Not the old days anymore. Di
    sappointed.

  41. ebonyraptor says:

    If the Hawks top-6 are Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp, Bickell and Saad and the Wild top-6 are Parise, Koivu, Pominville, Granlund, Coyle and Moulson, then let’s compare the depth forwards.

    For the Hawks we have Shaw, Kruger, Smith, Versteeg, Bollig and Handzus.

    For the Wild we have Haula, Niederreiter, Cooke, Fontane, Brodziak and Heatley.

    I would give the Wild the edge in depth forwards, at least as shown so far in this series.

  42. Sr. Brad says:

    Travis I am going to go with ER on this one…the Wild’s “stars” are simply playing better than ours. But I too think the Wild secondary players are also outplaying our guys. But again, WHY? Our secondary players are either substandard, or have had their johnson’s yanked so much, they don’t know whether they are coming or going…

    Last year against the Wings the situation was different. Q had his players and his lines, and DET was simply outplaying us, and getting better goaltending. To win the last 3, we kept things as they were, but got a better effort and better goaltending, and some clutch goals. Against the Wild its different, Q is LOST in his vision about how best to align this team. Guys, throwing around new, odd line combos can sometimes work and produce lightening, but more times than not, if fails, and we are running out of time.

    Toews with Hossa and Bickell is a monster line that is going to outlay Parisie. Smith centring Sharp and Kane is going to continue to dictate pace. And by allowing Kruger to centre Morin and Saad, we have a sound, dynamic 3rd line. With Regin and Versteeg on the 4th line we will get a solid 7-8 minutes from them. Problem solved. But until Q resolves this sudden issue, the outcomes aren’t going to change.

  43. Sr. Brad says:

    Michael, some great comments. Especially on Suter…we need to hit him and make his life miserable every chance we get…that is bang on!

  44. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    What people fail to recognize is that it is inordinately hard to win back to back Cups. The Hawks are wiped out. You can see it in their faces. And yes, Wall is 100% right…the marquee players on this team either rise to the challenge or summer vacation starts. I want to kick Brad in the balls until he passes out. He’s convinced the lemmings in this site that Q is a bad coach and the Hawks losing is a function of how he mixes and matches role players. Bullcrap.

    The Hawks have already cheated the grim reaper of hockey season’s end by reaching down and finding another gear when their epitaph on the season was being written. Bottom line this team has been struggling and tired since January. A less talented Minnesota team that has never down shit in the playoffs are playing with all the energy and enthusiasm of school children who got 12 hours sleep and a healthy breakfast. The Hawks don’t seem to have much in their energy reserve right now. They will beat Minnesota, but their end will come in the 3rd round unless LA completely lays an egg.

    Brad doesn’t understand big boy hockey. He understands what a friggin $3 dollar stat sheet tells him at Rockford Icehog games though. Much to the pain and suffering of the dwindling few of any hockey iq who still gut it out on this site.

  45. morrison says:

    All of the top6 teams are not as deep as last yr. We are going to get that type of depth again for these 3yrs coming up. How many of the other top6 teams will, I am not sure now but probably not many. We have these 3yrs coming up to get excited about, but right now we want and need to play to our skill level.

    I think we loaded 3 lines because it worked against STL and that’s what they do with their top9 fw. Every team is different roster wise, so we should do what SRB says so we can roll 4 lines (even if 4th line play 8-10min). I do not think we should do Tazer & Kaner together until were playing good.

    Get Regin in and Bollig out now.

  46. ebonyraptor says:

    Bollig suspended for 2 games … we just got closer to victory.

  47. JS says:

    Ya’ll bitches drunk. (hi I’m back. My work computer stopped letting me post and I don’t have enough patience to do things on my phone.)

    Keep giving up on this team. Keep questioning the “will” of this team.

    I know I sound like a broken record when I say it (but there are a lot of broken records here), Q is gonna Q. He out thinks himself ALL THE TIME. Win the first two games? Let’s change it up for the third! Brandon Bollig is a real hockey player! I will use him for 82 games in the regular season instead of getting some experience points for someone that can actually play hockey! Young defensemen that has insanely underrated skills for the team? LETS BENCH HIM!

    Good news is, he usually figures it out. The better news? Bollig is suspended for a stupid hit (color me surprised) and now he has to dress someone else.

    Quennville has the players to skate the best 4 lines in the NHL, but he isn’t using them for whatever reason. In what world do Nordstrom, Handzus, and Bollig deserve ice time over Regin, Morin, and Versteeg?

    Stop playing the other teams game. You are the best team in the NHL. Make them beat you. Don’t beat yourself by changing what you do.

    Hawks in 6.

  48. Sr. Brad says:

    First, JS, welcome back, and I agree…there is an enormous will to win with this team, but the player selection and these last second line changes are putting the Hawks at risk. Yes, we will get a great effort in the next couple of games, but our players are constantly being put into situations where its tough to succeed instead of easy to be themselves. As you said, the Hawks need to play THEIR game…ER, Wall, Phil, Mike, RD, Negzz they have all said it…how and why are we letting a franchise that hasn’t won sh$t dictate the pace and style of games to us (2 Cups in 4 years)?

    Tab, the comments by dufus are over the line…please take them off this article or I am done here. As loose as this board is run, personal threats are actually a crime.

  49. Dickie Dunn says:

    JS – Handzus has been pretty effective on the PK (why Q plays him). Regin has been given no opportunity, so who knows. Versteeg hasn’t shown much of anything (except setting-up a goal) to deserve ice time over Nordstrom (or Morin). Bollig was an adequate 12th forward during the regular season *when he got semi-regular 4th line ice time, with Kruger and Smith most of the time – nothing like the post season.

    Absolutely – the Hawks must play their game.

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