Bryan Bickell, Blackhawks Blow Past Wild

For the first time in seven games, the Chicago Blackhawks scored first and were able to withstand a strong second period to pull away with a 4-2 win in Minnesota on Thursday night.

After a shaky opening 75 seconds on Tuesday, Corey Crawford played a much better game in Minnesota. He made a big save in the first minute to keep the Wild off the board and appeared much more confident than against Colorado.

Kruger MINPatrick Sharp opened the scoring at 5:08 for his ninth of the season. Later in the period, Thomas Vanek drove Marcus Kruger chin-first into the boards in front of the Hawks bench and received a five-minute major for the infraction. On the ensuing power play, Patrick Kane scored his 20th of the season to extend the Hawks lead to two.

With the goal, Kane became only the second player in Blackhawks history to score at least 20 goals in each of his first eight seasons (Denis Savard).

Kruger returned for the second period, but the Wild carried the action in the middle frame. Jason Zucker scored 63 seconds into the period to cut the lead in half, and the Wild dominated the puck for nearly the entire 20 minutes. Helped by two Sharp penalties, Minnesota out-shot the Hawks 19-5 in the second period but Crawford was able to keep the Hawks in front with a number of key saves.

Bryan Bickell extended the lead back to two with his seventh of the season, the eventual game-winner, and added an empty net goal for good measure in the final minute. The goals extended a stretch of strong play from Bickell, who has four goals and an assist over his last five games. He also led the Hawks with four shots on net in the win.

And with his assist on Bickell’s first goal, Kane picked up his first multi-point game since Dec. 27, and now has four points in four games in 2015. Brad Richards was credited with two assists in the game, his second multi-point outing in three games.

Minnesota pulled back to within one during a 5-on-3 late in the third period. With Johnny Oduya already in the box, and Brent Seabrook bleeding from the eye area on the ice in a scrum in front of the net, Michal Rozsival closed his hand on the puck and was sent to the box. With the Hawks down three defensemen for 35 seconds of a two-man advantage, it took Minnesota only seven seconds to score. Jason Pominville was credited with the goal; he continues to haunt the Blackhawks, picking up a two-point night in the loss.

Seabrook led the Hawks with five blocked shots and skated 22:32 before needing some facial repairs in the third period. Jonathan Toews won 13 of 21 faceoffs and was credited with one assist and one blocked shot as well.

Crawford finished the night with 42 saves as the Hawks were out-shot 36-9 over the game’s final 40 minutes. Niklas Backstrom allowed three goals against only 19 shots in the loss for Minnesota. Chicago scored on one of three power plays, while limiting the Wild to one power play goal on five advantages.

Daniel Carcillo dressed in place of Teuvo Teravainen and skated exactly eight minutes in the game, producing one shot on net and one hit. David Rundblad picked up an assist in the game but was the lowest ice time recipient on the roster, getting only 7:55 on the ice on Thursday night.

Kane MIN

Wild star Zach Parise did not play in the game on Thursday night after his father, JP Parise, passed away after a long battle with cancer on Wednesday night. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Parise family.

20 thoughts on “Bryan Bickell, Blackhawks Blow Past Wild

  • January 8, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    Good to have Crawford steal one for us. The timing could not have been better! Bickell?…is this sustainable?…made a few key hits as well..kinda showing us a different side as of late. Good game by Minnesota but a better one by Crawford. Kane and Richards huge as well.

  • January 8, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    ….and maybe Seabrook should seriously consider a visor…hope to heck he is ok, sure looked like it should have been a lot worse than what we know.

  • January 8, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Wild outworked/outplayed the Hawks for most of that geme and CC was the difference. Good goalie win by our tender – good to have.

    Just for records keeping sake – Kane and Richards were credited with assists on Bickell’s EN goal so Kane was 1+2 and Richards with 3 dimes on the night.

    I didn’t think Rundblad played that bad to deserve only 7:55 – he certainly played better than Rozsival who played terrible all game long and he got 12:53 … and the answer to that mystery is “Q”.

    Either play TT or send him back to Rockford so he can play there. This is on you Stan – don’t let Q jerk TT around like he’s done with other young players he didn’t like for whatever reason. Grow a pair and either make sure Q understands he needs to play TT or take him away from Q and let him continue getting better by playing in Rockford. Don’t let Q play mind games with the best prospect in the organization.

  • January 8, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    MM- I agree on Seabrook. Looked worse at first, but he was lucky to return so fast.

    Also, I’m a big believer in Bryan Bickell. I understand he can be frustrating to watch, but hopefully he can fill Versteeg’s void until next month. While he is certainly playing better, it seems like Bickell has always had the Wild’s number – sort of like Stalberg against Columbus (though his production vs. them was absurd)

  • January 8, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    ER – while I agree on Rozy (he did play terrible tonight), TT hasn’t warranted much playing time yet, albeit two games. I don’t love Carcillo or Nordstrom right now, but Teuvo is playing too tentative right now. This could be to the threat of benching getting the best of him or just rookie jitters.

    I do think Stan should send Teuvo down for now. He doesn’t appear ready and it would be a better long term solution cap-wise.

  • January 8, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Thank the Lord Seabsy boy is ok.

  • January 9, 2015 at 7:08 am

    Is it just me or does Kaner just absolutly OWN Backstrom?

  • January 9, 2015 at 7:15 am

    A few thoughts after this game. Runblad continues to look like a NHL defenseman. Its nice to see him playing regularly and not being a concern for Q. Erixon who? Like I said before trash for trash trade!

    Crow played his best game in a while. Wild hit the post atleast three times, but Crow was aggressive and on top of his crease. Good to see him bounce back into form.

    Bickell dont peak to soon we need you in a few months

    Hopefully TT gets back in the lineup and puts some points on the scoresheet.

  • January 9, 2015 at 7:19 am

    @ Tim G, I believe Backstrom calls Kane before the game and asks how many goals he should give Kane.

    Last year the Wild had 3 NHL caliber goalies now they have zero w Kruemper on IR, Bryz in Ana and Harding out due to MS. Minny has really taken a huge step back this season.

  • January 9, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Thank you #50. We were completely outplayed in that game. The second period was one of the worst of the year. Poor passing, inability to exit the d zone and weak on the boards. Hats off to 29, 91 and 88 as that line showed up to play. Agree ER, Stan may need to step in to ensure TT does not get jerked around.

  • January 9, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Crawford played like a top goaltender that he is, near the top at least. Wild played short handed and seemed the Hawks looked a little “unorganized and out of synch” but good game on the road and no Zach Parise means no wild means no way wild wins! They are not a deep team. I believe TT, Mr. Teravainen might be traded, I know it sounds silly, but seems Hawks might have been trying to sort of display him for a trade? I do not follow contracts, caps and pay structure I follow hockey and played the game BUT my gut says he would be gone if Hawks can get a top draft choice . . .TT is not going to get any better he plays very well in the “minors” but he needs a bi g team around him? TT is no Johnny Gaudreau and maybe with the right team on the right line he may make it? TT certainly has skills but look how well Joakim Nordström has played, he is getting MORE PHYSICAL and finishing checks and has limited size but plays and skates hard and can get into the TUFF AREAS OF THE ICE . . .TT will never be able to do that and will be a floater, HAWKS do not employ FLOATERS. Gotta grind it! go hawks

  • January 9, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Mook – you were reading my mind, TT might be a special player but the Hawks really don’t need another undersized skill player – we need to move up in the draft and I have a man crush on Pavel Zacha, 6’3″ 200+ pound centre that plays both ways. We need this type of player in our system.
    Rockford watchers, who’s next on the shuttle if TT gets sent down? Any big bodies that can play down there?

  • January 9, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Hawks absolutely do not employ floaters like Patrick Kane. Floaters don’t win Cups, and there is absolutely no chance a floater like Patrick Kane could win Conn Smythe.

    TT is a special player and he won’t be moved unless the Hawks are blown away with an offer. I imagine he was sat to relax a bit and watch the game from the press box. I can almost guarantee he draws in tonight. Q obviously likes him, as he’s giving him able bodied teammates to play with.

    Bickell train is starting to roll. All aboard! But seriously, this guys release is ridiculous.

    Can the Hawks go against Backstrom every night? I would fully enjoy that.

    Richards has 21 points in 37 games. He’s on pace for about 43 points this year (missed games and such). That is significantly better than the 16 points that Handzus put up in 59 games last year. But Handzus had value! PK specialist and stuff! You can see how bad the Hawks PK has gotten since he left.

    Time for Seabs to start wearing a visor I’d say. I thought he lost his eye for sure.

  • January 9, 2015 at 9:16 am

    JS- you read my mind Re: Floaters… Kane is one of the best in the league… And yet 88 always finds a way to pounce on a rebound (at crucial times) and score… even though he is a wuss… TT- actually went to the net for loose stuff/screens… the puck didn’t find him- but he did… TT will have to learn that after he makes those quick/whirling passes… he IS going to be fair game in NHL for a hit… TT- will also have to learn to keep his skates/on the little board contact he will take (Kane is great at it for a small guy)… TT’s stick is elite/ kind of like an Offensive stick on boards that Hammer has on D side…

    Said this before… Perhaps TT just needs to practice w/ Hawks like 25 and 5… and LEARN how to keep his feet… Runbad is 100% better then 1st few games/as was 25…
    the Hawks coaches/And or Players must have had a hand in this- judging by how much – both 25/5 have improved in that…

    Hogs have Zero size/talent on the forward side of Puck!!! RasMoose- is closest thing to it… and he is NOT physical… just good/responsible player w/ decent speed for size.

    Ross and McNeill were playing well – skating quick/forechecking like Bees (especially Ross)

    Tab- I love how you used Bickell and Blow in your Headline-lol…
    Kidding aside (and Goals aside) – he did skate a lot better… I must admit… but that is only more the reason – I don’t like him… he IS capable… when he Wants

  • January 9, 2015 at 9:51 am

    I actually think a good hit would be good for TT. Might help him relax and stop fearing the inevitable. Again, I actually don’t mind the benching last night even though Carcillo has fallen back to completely useless. So much for saying nice things about him a few months ago.

    Wall- about Bickell. He isn’t the type of player that can create his own offense, and the Hawks are kind of stocked on Top 6 Wingers, so really it’s going to be hard for him to live up to that contract. If he got PP time and was routinely shifted in the Top 6, I don’t think 25+ goals is out of the question.

  • January 9, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Did you see Carcillo break his stick out of frustration? He is kinda funny acting. carbomber can explode, take himself and YOU out at the same time. Watch out! But seriously, he had just poked the puck out of his zone. Then he sits on the bench for a few seconds, gets up and smashes his stick into the ice. lol. It looked like they told him, hey no its ok its ok, just please dont do that again, please don’t.

    And yea, the Wild is in absolutely terrible shape. So lets not all pat ourselves on the back quite yet. Crawford did well, but Mike the Mook is right. No Parise really hurts the Wild and sends their confidence down into the dumps. When he was a Devil, Parise was my favorite forward in NHL. He is downright deadly. I see lots of folks giving crawford props when he does well, or even just OK, which is cool. But its funny how folks clam up when he really lets down. There is a lot of dough riding on him right now, pressure is on. I hope he can hold it together but have my doubts. We’ll see.

  • January 9, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Regarding my earlier comments about TT – I’m not convinced he’s ready to play in the NHL yet, in fact I’m leaning to the side that thinks he should spend the rest of the season in Rockford to (1) get more comfortable playing on the smaller ice (which I think he has alteady made some progress in that area), and (2) get bigger/stronger. But that said, I don’t think 20 minutes of ice time (10 minutes in 2 games) is enough time to make that assessment, nor do I think sitting him in the press box helps him or the team. My point is either play him to really be able to assess if he should remain with the Hawks or not – or send him back to Rockford. Do not jerk him in and out of the lineup like he’s some scrub hanging on to the 14th forward spot. That would be just stupid and counterproductive for what is best for the team in short term and long term.

  • January 9, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Re: Teravainen.

    What did Kaner say in the on-ice interview after the Chicago/Philadelphia game 6.

    ‘Not a chance, not a chance!’

  • January 9, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    TT has elite skills. He needs to get bigger and stronger to enhance those skills. 20 minutes of playing time is not a large enough sampling to see how special he is.He needs to be playing 10 minutes a game night in and night out. 86 right now is a far better option than 13 ever will be. The idea of sitting 86 and playing 13 makes absolutely no sense to me.

  • January 9, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    JS- I know what you are getting at Re: 29 not creating O… I can completely accept not putting up big numbers playing on 3rd/4th line… What I don’t accept is not skating hard enough to get in on Forecheck/hit people/or screen goal/ drive to net for rebounds… these things 16/42/ always try to do… I don’t get upset at 42 for not having goals…

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