Blackhawks Hang On, Win Game 1

Game One: one team steamrolls their way to a three-goal lead in the first period, only to give it all back in the second as neither goaltender appears terribly comfortable.

The script felt familiar, but not in a good way.

In the first round against Nashville, it was the Predators rolling to the early lead with the Blackhawks coming back to tie the game in the second. On Friday night against Minnesota, the Hawks stormed to the early advantage only to watch the Wild climb all the way back during the middle stanza.

Unlike the Predators in the last series, however, the Blackhawks were able to grab the lead – and the momentum – back at the end of the second period.

The opening 20 minutes was a showcase for the Blackhawks. Brandon Saad scored the first goal of the series only 75 seconds in the game. Each team had a few good scoring opportunities over the next 11 minutes, but neither team was able to capitalize until Brad Richards danced into the zone and found Patrick Kane for a wicked shot that beat Devan Dubnyk.

When Marcus Kruger scored 2:04 later, the United Center exploded for a third time. In spite of being out-shot in the first period, the Hawks carried a three goal lead into the dressing rooms.

Early in the second period, Johnny Oduya put a shot off the crossbar that nearly blew the roof off the building once more. But the shot didn’t go in, and Minnesota carried the rest of the period. Goals by Jason Zucker, Zach Parise (on the power play) and Mikael Granlund in the first half of the period sucked the wind out of the arena. Deja vu had struck the Hawks.

Though he would have undoubtedly liked at least one of the goals back, Corey Crawford made enough saves in the second period to keep the game tied.

Until Teuvo Teravainen scored his first career postseason goal, breaking the tie and stealing momentum from the visitors as the teams went to their respective dressing rooms for a second time.

The third period saw both teams have exceptional chances, but both goaltenders stood tall. After a tremendous effort from the Wild in the game’s closing minute to tie the game, Crawford was up to the task and the Blackhawks successfully held on to win Game One.

And Teravainen’s goal held up as the game-winner.

Antoine Vermette picked up an assist and won 11 of 14 faceoffs with four hits in the victory. He skated on the third line with Patrick Sharp and Teravainen as Kris Versteeg was a scratch (lower body).

Bryan Bickell won the lineup lottery and was bumped up to skate with Richards and Kane and provided a physical influence on the game. He was credited with 11 hits in 14:05.

Richards, Kane and Marian Hossa led the Hawks with four shots on net each, while Oduya was credited with a team-high three blocked shots. Duncan Keith was credited with two assists and once again skated a team-leading ice time total… but was “only” on the ice for 24:43 in the victory.

Ryan Suter, the ice time leader for the Wild, skated 26:36 and got undressed by Saad on the game’s first score.

Crawford stopped 30 of 33 Minnesota shots to earn the victory, and was especially strong in the third period after a rough second. Dubnyk made 31 saves against 35 shots in defeat.

Special teams continue to be a struggle for the Blackhawks, who allowed a power play goal once again; Chicago was short-handed three times on Friday night. Minnesota only sent one player to the box, Parise in the first period, and the Hawks failed to capitalize.

50 thoughts on “Blackhawks Hang On, Win Game 1

  • May 1, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Wow-if this is any indication we’re in for a roller coaster ride and lots of anxious moments-
    Keith has been consistently good and bad in much of the playoffs this year. This Wild team is very scary. Hopefully we’re up 2-o on Sunday night.

  • May 1, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    Dubnyk looked shaky.

    TT’s goal was a gift. Thanks DUUUUUUBS

    Panarin scored a nifty goal for Russia tonight.

    Only 3 more. Let’s go Hawks!!

  • May 1, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    A hotly contested game by two very good teams that saw both goaltenders look shaky throughout. The Hawks seem to understand that Dubnyk struggles high on his glove side and exploited it throughout the game.

    The Hawks D struggled in the third period and that just cannot happen again, as MIN missed on a few golden opportunities that should have been goals with the turnovers. Rozy is struggling and he knows it and plays like a guy who is expecting to make mistakes.

    Great job the Hawks forwards tonight. The Hawks have the best and deepest collection of forwards in the league and it was enough to pull out game 1. But there is a lot of hockey still to go and Crawford needs to settle down in the net and our D need to stop with all the turnovers.

    I really liked Teuvo’s game tonight, excellent positioning, stayed off of his butt, and really moved the puck north/south effectively. Nice addition by Q.

  • May 1, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    Sorry, one more comment. There has been a lot of criticism for Bowman and Vermette regarding the trade and the price the Hawks paid to get him. Vermette and Bowman just showed all Hawk fans just why the Hawks made that trade. Vermette was rock solid all night long and deadly at the dot. His F/O win led to the Kane goal and his net presence helped the TT goal. He had the most jump and speed I have seen yet from him and was all over the ice playing aggressive and smart hockey! Congrats to both men!

  • May 2, 2015 at 12:01 am

    Vermette is like having Bolly again. Good two way player.

  • May 2, 2015 at 12:21 am

    Some doghouse players were very strong tonight, 80 and 29. 65 won every tough face off he was in, he’s kind of a specialist on the 4th line I guess, he was taking a lot of face-offs with 16 on the wing. 19 81 and 29 are having some serious trouble finding any space at all, so it’s clear to see how Min is defending. Fine. If all three of them do what Bickell did last year, and simply take their defender out of the play, we win. Mash your guy into the boards and leave some space on the ice.

    Our d men can win games for us on offense, but were able to do it on defense tonight. 4 has looked slow in the postseason, hope he gets healthy soon. I am a crusty veteran fan, and 32 proved to be crusty, but I liked the licks he dished out, he must really suck to play against when his wheels are good as they were tonight, stick in the nads be damned. He’s downright good on offense and doesn’t get a lot of love on this page for his eye on offense. These are the Blackhawks, we don’t have stay at home guys (well, maybe 44, and for some reason, 4).


  • May 2, 2015 at 12:25 am

    Are we supposed to get through this with our health and sanity? I imagine Q is asking the same question. Well thats playoff hockey I guess, but still…difficult to take away any positives from this game outside of the one fact that we won! …also maybe that Dubnyk is not the end all and be all and we can crack that code. as Sean McIndoe says ” goalies are voodoo”. Well as long as we hold off the Wild at the UC then we win the series.

  • May 2, 2015 at 12:32 am

    B and B great point on vermette. I have been one of the critics for ure but he was outstanding in game 1. This is what they got him for a deep playoff run. Same with Richards who really seemed to have a ton of jump.

    Huge huge win tonight.

  • May 2, 2015 at 12:48 am

    Great to see scoring from all lines. Agree with B+B, that was Vermette’s best all around game, great from the dot. Great poise from Kruger on his goal. I hope and pray that Dubnyk plays the entire series like tonight. Two great kills in the 3rd was key, power play still leaves much to be desired although I think they only got one chance. I sure love me some CC, but it sure looks as if he is going down WAY too early and not popping up, playing too long on knees. I thought he seemed down/defeated in his post game interview, but give him a ton of credit for not smacking the moron that asked him if he was surprised he did not get pulled. I think this team considers themselves lucky they got the win and knows they will have to reduce the turnovers,(especially in their own end) and play tougher in the corners. Well done boys, let’s get another sunday. GO HAWKS.

  • May 2, 2015 at 1:02 am

    Antoine Vermette made a great “between the legs” pass as he was turned in the slot in the second period to Sharpy on a two on one, that was really pretty. Dubnyk made a the nice lateral save on #10 however.

    With regard to the comments from @Bannerman & Belfour on how SB’s trade for Vermette was a good one. I agree with you 100% but we need to include Andrew Desjardins in that statement as well. The guy gives nothing short of a full effort every shift.
    The move for Kimmo is one that nobody will critisize because of the situation and was a great gesture for a guy who is deserving, however, there comes a time when you either need to fist or cut bait. Let’s hope it doesn’t bite us. If it works out for all parties then great…but we need to be careful here.
    Let’s tighten it up!
    Go Hawks!

  • May 2, 2015 at 1:07 am

    Suter is still at the U.C. looking for his jockstrap.

  • May 2, 2015 at 1:10 am

    44 has to sit and skating him with 7 is terrifying vs minnesotas speed. our back end will get exposed in this series.

  • May 2, 2015 at 1:31 am

    Suter’s hands are still in the air looking for the penalty call for Saad grabbing the butt of his stick somehow while on his way to scoring a goal, that was as nasty as a play in the NHL will ever get. That goal was proof of the adage “if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying,” because Saad cheated, but there is no referee in the universe that could’ve seen it.

    The only person looking for anything in the United Center is Corey Crawford, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was replaced to start game two. Coach Q is not a fan of nonsense, and I don’t see how Crawford’s motionless defense from his knees is in any way acceptable. Yes he got the win, yes he had exactly one highlight save, but the stretches where he is the worst player on the ice are unacceptable. It’s nice that his team came together to play some elite defense in the third period, but bad, sad crow must give way too happy, good crow very soon. Call you want the Blackhawks to win the series, and I am awaiting the “Darling to start game two” headline on this website, because enough is enough is at this point.

  • May 2, 2015 at 1:33 am

    Sorry for the drunken Siri typos in the above post :-)

  • May 2, 2015 at 1:37 am

    Sorry for the typos, Siri is a terrible secretary, and her boss is wasted :)

  • May 2, 2015 at 1:39 am

    Jeez, I got an error message on my first apology above so I reposted, I’m done now, I promise.

  • May 2, 2015 at 2:42 am

    Wow guys, I mean we won, can we ever give these guys/ this team a break? I had to listen to this one on the radio, seeing as I live out of state now, and work nights in the dish pit at a restaurant so its hard to take all in that goes on game wise, but; from what Troy was spitting on the radio waves (which I love,) it seemed like our boys were fairly solid throughout. Sure, they gave up a three goal lead. I actually heard from a replay the other night that 3-0 leads were the worst leads in hockey in recent memory, especially in the playoffs. Seems like teams just can’t hold it down after gaining that traction. It sure seemed like we held it down after squandering that lead though, which is unfortunate, but happens. But what really matters is that we held it down, came though and won this game. How many times has this team proven their worth through adversity, and triumphed? It may not be pretty, but its still fucking WINNING. I guess I’m ok with with that as long as it gets the job done.

  • May 2, 2015 at 7:10 am

    The Wild Played Mild!
    1- Wild will need to play much more physical Sunday or they can be out in 5 games!
    2 -Wild gave the Hawks more room on the ICE, room to move and space than any game i can remember.
    3- Suter played horrible, never seen him play two bad games in a row? we’ll see? ZACK played like a captain on ever single shift love this guy!
    4- While most of the Top 10 nhl teams do roll 4 lines Hawks have good depth all the way down! Our 4th line to me is the reason Hawks are scoring more.
    5- Richards continues to impress, 2 years younger than Hossa and he must be finding some inspiration as Richards is playing great at both ends of the ice. I mean great!
    6 -Crow was just okay, he and Sasquatch sadly will sooner rather than later be swapping starts, just hate the inconsistency.
    7 – Hawks Team Defense was “sloppy” not everyone was transitioning back on D, they need to do this as a TEAM and not everyone is pivoting and turning back up ice but WILD like the BLUES do a good job of pinning your d-men if they come into the offensive zone.
    8- Hawks where able ( bad defense) to move the puck left to right, which is the way to beat any goaltender, make the big guy move, once your coming in straight and he has the angle Sasquatch can look like Belfour!
    9 -look for a much more physical game Sunday, like “pounding” Hawks are fast enough and I feel WILD “fastness” is over rated a little, they just do a great job of transitioning up ice to offense.
    10 -Tnt Did what he does best! Good solid game.
    11- Our Power play still suffers from Schootizophrenia! Did TnT get any time on power play second unit?
    GO HAWKS! lots of one goal games now, all these teams are even1

  • May 2, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Crawford was BAD, although the 1st was not on him, goals #2 and #3 were fully on him poorly played. His rebound control continues to be poor and I cringe every time he leaves the crease to play the puck. NOT going to happen, but I agree with Nick and would prefer SD in net for game 2. Oh well, I’m sure to hear another round of “he’s our guy”, “won a cup”, “wouldn’t be here without him” parroting..

    Tahts aid, after 3-0 lead team sadly and predictably took their foot off the gas and got lazy in the D end. In 2nd period, Keith and co. had a couple poorly played clearing attempts that contributed to CC gaffs.. Have to clean that up moving forward.

    As those of us who really liked the 91/80 moves have hoped to see all along, our resulting and newfound strength up the middle and will make is much more dangerous as the playoffs go deeper. Every FO becomes more critical and these guys will continue to be critical to our chances to keep rolling. It’s going to be KEY that we figure out how to replicate in the offseason during the purge/reset. (Btw- Hockeybuzz has a handy cap tool similar to the former Capgeek resource if you want to play.)

  • May 2, 2015 at 8:04 am

    lousy typos…

  • May 2, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Nick- it showed. For the non call on Saad, no ref would call that even if it was seen. Saad tried to chip it around suter, Suter tried to play the body while Saad didn’t have the luck and extended his arms to slow him up. Saad gave him an Ole.

    As for Darling getting the next start, that’s absurd. While Crawford was meh, he made saves when he had to. On all 3 goals you could argue a defensive breakdown was the root cause. Sucker with the redirect was just a fantastic shot, but where was a red sweater on him? Same goes for the Parise goal. In the crease waiting, not sure if Seabrook was slow to get back or someone else blew an assignment but number 11 in the blue paint on the pp never ends well. Crawford’s pad came up for a split second and pucks in the net. Granlund goal was similar. Parise working harding taking on 3 hawks in the corner, Granlund works his way to the front of the net, and puck comes to him.

    I wouldn’t change anything in the lineup. Except on defense, but that’s not gonna happen. Roszival made on solid defensive play where he laid out and blocked a pass with his stick. Kudos. Other than that, I have made my opinion felt on how I feel about him. Can’t skate and he knows it. Tries to make up for it but it usually ends up with a turnover.

  • May 2, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Nice game by Bickel- 11 hits. We need that physicality from him. 80 looked better, it helped having 86 on his line. What a goal by Saad. The register is ringing. Outstanding job defensively by the Hawks in the third period. Both goalies were mediocre in their net. Crawford is really making me nervous with his puck control in the crease. What is it going to take for 32 to get benched. He continually gets beat to the outside and his reaction time is very slow in front of the net. 44 is even slower but I thought his positioning last night was better than usual.

  • May 2, 2015 at 8:37 am

    Nick/Negzz- nice to see some honesty… Both Goalies were bad!!!
    Crow leads Dubnyk… 2 soft goals to 1

    Vermette- did play well

    Nice to see the Hawks pushing pace in 3rd… instead of just sitting on it.

    Panarin- the Hawks can actually be better next year… wow!!! and faster less Timmo/Rosey

  • May 2, 2015 at 9:00 am

    I said it before the series and I’m sticking with it. Hawks in 5. We will see a lot of dog fights like this but I just don’t see us dropping more than 1 game when we got our heads on right

  • May 2, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Ernie, I’m not faulting Saad, it was an incredible play but there are plenty of refs who would’ve given superstar Ryan Suter that call. You’re being too kind to Crawford, he was tentative on playing almost every puck in the crease, I think it was Keith Jones who noticed exactly what I was seeing. I didn’t see his interview but as reported above Crow was sullen, always a bad sign with him, he’s having a really rough patch. At least Darling is decisive when he can see the puck, the D was even worse in front of him when he got pulled in game 6, he had no chance on any of the goals that went in on him, Crow had a chance on 2 of the 3 last night, the Zucker goal was a given but he has to make the play on one of those other 2. And those are just the goals, the most worrisome part is his tentative play.

  • May 2, 2015 at 9:42 am

    I know I’m the only member of the 32 fan club, but he’s our 5th D man, he gets beaten to the outside but at least he doesn’t get beaten to the inside as often as Rundblad did. And when he’s around the goal watching pucks go in, do you notice him keeping his man out of the crease? If he starts playing the puck and leaving his man open, this message board will call for his hanging. Even more. Listen, I know he’s slow, he knows it, I think even some posters on this page might have noticed it, but he’s ok on D for a 5th DMan and pretty darn good on O. I really and truly don’t think any of the kids would do any better, other than TVR, which sucks. This every other night pace is brutal on the old guys though, watching the NBA playoffs with their 2 days of rest every series and players whining about one day off makes that game pretty obnoxious, but go Bulls anyway. Maybe some kids will get a chance just to give 32 a rest, I’d be curious to see how that plays out against a talented offense like MIN.

  • May 2, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Wall (Nick/Negzz), ” nice to see some honesty…Crow leads Dubnyk… 2 soft goals to 1″ — really? It’s ALL on the goaltenders? What about the defensive coverage – I think if blame must be placed, it should be shared. Defenders even remotely near Zucker and Parise (PK bad change = Hossa late getting to the man), and Keith and Toews jerking-around in the corner allowing Granlund into position for the wrap-around…? Teraevainen’s goal was soft – didn’t appear to be a screen.

  • May 2, 2015 at 10:06 am

    DD- The goals were not all on CC, but he must grab and freeze the puck when given a chance after a turnover in the zone (which his failure led to goal #2), and he was beaten badly on the short side for goal #3 just kneeling there dumfounded after it popped past his glove. Not acceptable play (and if I was a Minny fan, I’d feel same way about TT’s goal.)

    My bigger concern is when looking at Crawford objectively, is his poor puckhandling and now tentativeness when playing the puck near his crease. Need him to step up or get out of the way, for Dubnyk is not going to get shelled next game imho.

  • May 2, 2015 at 10:31 am

    For anyone thinking that the Toews line had a tough game last night, consider this,

    “Saad at 5v5 had 8 d-zone starts vs. 2 in the o-zone. Toews and Hossa both had 7 and 2. Yet they had CF%s of 64.52, 66.67, and 65.38.”

    That line was constantly asked to defend their zone and still dominated possession. The goal that line “gave up” was on Crawford, that should never have gone in.

    I tend to see the Toews line in this series similar to the battle they had vs. the Kopitar line last year. Perhaps not a lot of scoring on either side, but they will control the flow of the game and give Crawford much needed breaks.

    Last night the Hawks won the last 8 face-offs in the game and dominated when the draws were very crucial. Strength down the middle that we didn’t have last year.

    The frustrating reality for the Hawks is this, Rozy and Timonen are putting every single game at risk, and the Hawks are going to have dig very deep (as they have) to overcome their play.

  • May 2, 2015 at 10:48 am

    There’s a saying when it comes to flying. When a plane crashes there is usually a chain of events that lead up to it. Its usually not any one thing that cause it. “Break the chain.” If any one thing in that chain is broken, bad things wouldn’t happen. Same goes for some of last nights game. If Crawford freezes, if they don’t have a poor change, if they aren’t mystified by Parise, if they don’t allow players to stand in the crease….at least a few of those pucks don’t go in.

    Bottom line, tighten it up!

  • May 2, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Why is it Chicago fans always want the backup? Its an honest question.

  • May 2, 2015 at 11:26 am

    DD- yes the D coverage didn’t help CC… but -imo- The 1st game when CC got pulled… NONE- of those goals were soft… those were all great shots from “uncovered shooters” who had lots of time and space to shoot… so Game 1/Preds- were BAD D issues… the two goals that went five hole… to Me- are soft… In tight quarters- like they were… CC has to take bottom of net away and stay still… if Shooter goes top shelf fro 3-4 feet away… that is a great play , in tight…
    Crow had the angles (especially on Granlund) to just squeeze the five-hole, and hope shooter doesn’t elevate top shelf/corner…

    the only time the goalie should open the 5 hole (when shooter is in that tight)… is when shooter -is clearly moving post to post… like 16 vs. Dubnyk…

    Crow was going to be smoked on the wrap around… luckily- D man stepped up – and Wild forward lossed the handle!!!

    Lastly- Zucker seems to have a lot more speed than Hawks… That guy scares me!!!

  • May 2, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Negzz, “looking at Crawford objectively, is his poor puckhandling” — absolutely, since Day One. I’m not saying he is without blame. My point is that the team defense (and he’s part of the team) got a little lax leading to all three goals against.

    Ernie, “Bottom line, tighten it up!” — what I was getting at…

    Wall — I agree with you about coverage and Crawford pulled vs. Preds after three that weren’t soft. I concede Crawford didn’t come up with big saves on either play, but tighter coverage would have prevented the opportunity. To me it looked like the Hawks lost focus (- what was Keith doing in the corner…Norris caliber defense?)…and, taking nothing away from Minnesota, the Wild made the plays. Zucker is good…Timonen and Rozsival scare me.

  • May 2, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    …maybe this is the last we’ll see of Versteeg / Quenneville finally trusts Terevainen?

  • May 2, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Bottom line guys, the Hawks have many great money/clutch players; the core. They know how to win. They do what is necessary to win and nothing further. Yes, they play down to the competition, but still win. I actually believe this is all a team strategy. Do not exert more energy than necessary. They are that good to do so. Another example is that they don’t hit during the regular season. Again, preserve energy and limit injury until the real season; the playoffs. Everyone knows physical players normally end up injured themselves. Again, save it for the playoffs. I believe their physical play has picked up in the playoffs. A team plan to exert the energy and physical play for when it is needed.

    Despite my frustration during the season, I am beginning to believe that this team is that special and that good that they can turn it on when they have to do so. I do not see them losing to any team in the field at this time except for the following reason.

    If there is an issue with this team, it is 32 and 44. They have cost us goals and diluted the strength of our d-core. Q is doing his best to hide them with various defensive pairings, but this is still the chink in our armor. Then again, I am starting to believe that they will overcome it with the strength of the core and some of the supporting cast becoming money/clutch players just by association with the core.

    Go Hawks!!!

  • May 2, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Dickie D,
    Right on!!! Enough about Crow. Look at all the other goaltenders giving up soft goals. I thought Duby was soft on 2 if not 3 of the goals last night. I am with you Dickie, look at all the defensive breakdowns before hanging CC out to dry. Look at how many times 32 has the puck in the corner and turns it over rather than clearing the zone. There is enough blame to go around on broken d coverage in front of crow, forwards and dmen alike.

  • May 2, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    That’s a very valid post Booman, the Hawks core are special, plain and simple. They know how to win and don’t like to lose. If there is a team that can overcome Rozy and Timonen, its the Hawks. Strength down the middle is what cost the Hawks from winning the Cup last season, and last night it was what won us that game. If Crawford can improve his game, this team has a shot at winning it all, but it won’t be easy as our 5th and 6th DMen are a train wreck and MIN is going to attack them back in Minny, which is why we MUST win at home in this series.

    This is a point that I think everyone here needs to consider, at this point in the playoffs the Hawks are going to be hard pressed (near impossible) to win a single game on the road with Rozy and Timonen in the lineup. Every opposing coach will match extreme speed against them and the breakdowns (as Ernie said) will follow. The only antidote for this is controlling the dot and great goaltending. This is the Hawks reality in 2014/15.

  • May 2, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    A quick comment about the Ice Hogs thus far, its no surprise that Phillip Danault has taken his game to another level and has been the best Hog thus far in the playoffs. Danault is a complete hockey player that does everything well, if not great. His leadership has been very noticeable through all 3 games, leading by example. Look for him in Chicago next season. The line of Danault, Ross and McNeil has been a force as they have dominated puck possession while setting the tone for each game. Stephen Johns has been the best DMen on the team for quite a while and is showing himself to be a real leader on the back end. His OT goal last week was identical to the first goal he scored as a Hog late last year in Abbotsford. The speed and skill that this big man possesses is very impressive. He’s been a beast in the corners as well. He will become the Hawks 5th or 6th DMan next year, bank on it.

  • May 2, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Ernie- chicago’s favorite person at any given moment is the Hawks backup goaltender or Bears backup QB

    I agree 44 needs to sit. Still a smart player but he can’t move at all

  • May 2, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Frolik- Awesome name by the way, miss that guy on the PK big time- Darling is PLAYING BETTER and not letting as many soft goals in, and helping his sometimes horrific D with better puck play. That’s why he’s popular right now. The D has had brutal stretches. But on paper, and on the score sheet, these guys are still the team to beat, and with every game I see more clearly how this team can pull this off again. Oh yeah, the TT goal was a somewhat soft giveaway, but a brilliant split second idea in a small amount of space, TT gets more credit than Dubnyk on that one :)

  • May 2, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    It was like watching 3 different games last night. I was amazed, disappointed and relieved, in that order. Hard to figure the lackluster 2nd period (minus TT’s lucky tally at the end), and hard to figure CC’s inconsistencies (he looked terrible in the 2nd). We were fortunate to win it, and what saved us was faceoffs and the four line rotation. If our forwards flood the D-zone on the back check and help out, we stand a much better chance of compensating for the holes in our D. We tightened it up in the 3rd and they missed a couple of A+ chances. We won and that’s one in the bank. But we have to be better going forward.

  • May 2, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Both teams can and probably will play better, likewise with both goalies. Good game and good guys won. No complaints – winning is all that matters.

  • May 2, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    B&B….I hope the Hogs go far in these playoffs. It’s been several years. The more advanced Hogs will benefit from the playoff intensity and better prepare them for the NHL.

    I am one who believes the Hawks will be a 100+ point team next year regardless of the Cap. Hawks will be different next year. Younger, faster, bigger, less experienced and less skilled. BUT We are fortunate to have such a professional deep core to help bring some of the young guys along.

  • May 2, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Nick, as far as Darling playing better…his last 2 games he’s played in he has allowed 7 goals on 40 shots .825 save percentage in 68 minutes of ice time.

    Crawford’s last 2 games played. 3 goals on 46 shots. In 108 minutes of ice time. Good for a .934 save percentage.

    Yeah, I’ll stick with Crawford.

  • May 3, 2015 at 1:02 am

    So many sports writers from LA to Toronto singing the praises of the Wild, how they are going to “bounce back”. what a super cool dude Yeo is, how Dubnyk will be invincible and assorted other crap and nonsense. Head to head Q will make mincemeat of Yeo. Not to mention Keith, Seabrook, Kane, Toews, Sharp, Hossa, Hammer, Saad and the supporting cast. Guess they kinda forgot about those guys. If wearing hipster dufus outfits whilst riding your bicycle to work is the hallmark of a great team and defines a super cool dude then we have zero to worry about.

  • May 3, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Remember when Yeo through a tantrum mid season and he was a game or 2 away from being fired? Now he’s magically a great coach? Remember when Dubnyk played for 3 different teams last year (Hamilton Bulldogs being one of them) and his best save percentage on any of them was .894? Signs with Arizona and has 2.72 gaa and a .916%. Traded to Minnesota and all of a sudden everybody’s problems go away.

    Its about time they regress to the mean.

  • May 3, 2015 at 7:57 am

    MM-This Wild team is for real and they will push back-I just hope that the Hawks have enough tonight because I feel being 2-0 is so important in this particular series, and not just statistically.
    There is so little to differentiate some of these top teams that a key goal or bounce can be looked back on as a key turning point. There is lots to worry about-a good thing is the players on he Hawks team have been through this so often they won’t panic.

  • May 3, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Noonan96… Right on

    Panarin watch: 3 assists yesterday… 2 games : 1 g, 3 a

  • May 3, 2015 at 10:58 am

    The challenger has to knock out the champion to win the belt. Until the Wild can beat the Hawks in a 7 game series, they are still the challenger. The Hawks have been there and done it, TWICE!!

    Like all of you on here, I have heard how good the Wild are and how great DD is and how Mike Yeo is the second coming of Scotty Bowman. The last time I looked, we are on top of the mountain and they are looking up.

    GO HAWKS!!

  • May 3, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Noonan….of course I know the Wild are for real and must be respected. Its the over the top, ga-ga, denial, and that the Blackhawks are pretty real as well….these articles and writers all appear to use the same talking points and spin it the same way. So a little trash talk from moi is my counterbalance….besides Yeo gives me the creeps. Would not mind if we kidnapped Granlund and dressed him as a Blackhawk, you know, tell him he was just dreaming or recovering from a big hit or something.

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