By Brad Vandenberk
Just as the bikini girl puts down the “round 2” sign, you can’t help but ponder, is this the same Minnesota Wild team the Hawks faced last year in the first round? The answer is simple. No. This Wild team comes slightly different with some glaring similarities.
Remember during the warm ups in game one last season when Niklas Backstrom took a puck off the knee and was helped off the ice deeming him finished for the series? In came Josh Harding, who played real well before hurting himself as well, and then came in Darcy Kemper to finish the series off in a losing cause as Minnesota were eliminated 4-1. Well not a lot has changed with the Wild’s goaltending carousel.
Minnesota’s hope this series seems to rest on Ilya Bryzgalov’s universe. Read more
Posted in Blackhawks, Game recap, Stanley Cup Playoffs
Tagged Ben Smith, Blackhawks, Brad Vandenberk, Bryan Bickell, Clayton Stoner, Corey Crawford, Division finals, Game 1, Ilya Bryzgalov, Jonas Brodin, Kyle Brodziak, Marian Hossa, Minnesota, Patrick Kane, Stanley Cup Playoffs, Wild
By Brad Vandenberk
After clinching their fourth consecutive playoff appearance on Saturday night, the Chicago Blackhawks were back in action Sunday evening to face the playoff-eliminated Minnesota Wild. The night earlier the Hawks blew a 4-0 lead to a Nashville Predators quad which the Hawks could see in the first round of the playoffs. The Hawks came out victors with a 5-4 win. With a win Sunday, the Hawks could leap frog both the Predators and the Detroit Red Wings for 4th place in the Western conference. The Hawks sat in 6th in the West with home ice advantage in sight. The question is – Do the Hawks want to face the Wings or Preds in the first round? With Jonathan Toews now cleared for contact, the good ship Blackhawk will be cruising, heading into the first round no matter which foe they encounter. After Corey Crawford stole a Hawks win last night in the country music capital, Ray Emery started between the pipes for this match. This would give Emery a chance to get some game action in, in case he is called upon during the playoffs. Andrew Brunette was replaced by Michael Frolik as the top line winger. Brunette was seen limping around the arena early Sunday. He was later declared out with a lower body injury. The Wild played the night before as well, beating the LA Kings in a shootout. Josh Harding got the start for the Wild. Duncan Keith was serving the last game of his five game suspension. He will return to the line up on Thursday, when the Hawks travel to Minnesota to face the Wild. Read more
Posted in Blackhawks, Game recap
Tagged Andrew Shaw, Brandon Bollig, Brent Seabrook, Clayton Stoner, Dany Heatley, Darroll Powe, Devin Setoguchi, Dylan Olsen, Erik Christensen, Jimmy Hayes, Josh Harding, Kyle Brodziak, Minnesota, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Ray Emery, Viktor Stalberg, Wild