Tag Archives: Minnesota

Blackhawks advance to Western finals, bounce Minnesota in overtime in Game 6

By Michael Calvert

The good news is – usually when you start with the good news, it’s followed by some bad news – Well, I don’t have any of that.  The good news is the Hawks ‘to be determined’ challenger for the Western Conference Finals is going to be playing at least one more, likely, very physical game.

The better news is the Hawks this season are a combined 5-0-1 against Anaheim and L.A.  I personally don’t think either team is going to do anything close to rolling over and dying for the Hawks, but I like that stat just the same.

Corey Crawford has become a star and will, in my opinion, be the top goalie in the upcoming series, which is saying a lot with Jonathan Quick and the young phenom that is John Gibson.  Read more »

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Stars shine in Game 5, Hawks take series lead in 2-1 victory over the Wild

By Brad Vandenberk

Leaving Minnesota with the series tied at 2 was not part of plan A in this second round match up. The Wild showed their talent using their speed and forecheck to trouble the Hawks and 2 loses were the result. They took it to the Hawks out shooting them in two games holding the Hawks to less than 20 shots per game.

Matt Cooke returned for game 4 and gave the Hawks a lot of problems as he was involved on 2 of the Wilds 4 goals. The Hawks depth is being challenged and the employees needed to come to work Sunday night in Chicago.

Don’t get me wrong, the stars or core of this team also needs to pull up their sleeves and not allow the Wild to possess the puck. Brandon Bollig was reprimanded for his hit on Keith Ballard, being suspended for 2 games. Keith Ballard and Matt Moulson did not travel with the team to the windy city. Andrew Shaw did not dress for his 4th straight game and has yet to begin skating. Read more »

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Lindbloom’s View: What, Me Worry?

Lindbloom_WhatMeWorry“It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

Amateur – “Mr Hogan, how do you back the ball up on the green?
Ben Hogan – “Well, how far do you hit an 8-iron?”
Amateur – “Oh, about a 125 yds.”
Ben Hogan – “Why in the hell would you want to back the ball up?”

By Rich Lindbloom

The Hawks current predicament reminds me of Alfred E. Neuman’s seemingly inextricable mess in the above cartoon. In the early 80’s, a innovation called square grooves somewhat revolutionized the game of golf. They replaced the traditional V-shaped grooves and supposedly were able to make you back the ball up on the green like a Yo-Yo.  Read more »

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Series Even as Hawks fall to Minny 4-2 in Game 4

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks were unable to hand Minnesota its first home loss of the postseason Friday night. The Wild evened up the Western Conference second-round series with the Blackhawks, stifling Chicago shooters and taking Game 4 by a score of 4-2.

First Period-Both teams set a fast pace to start the contest, though most of the early action was in the Wild zone. Duncan Keith caught Minnesota napping on a line change an carried the puck toward Ilya Bryzgalov in the fifth minute until Mikko Koivu hustled over to prevent a point-blank shot on goal.

The Wild drew first blood in the eighth minute after Matt Cooke swiped the puck from Michal Rozsival. Justin Fontaine waited out Corey Crawford from the right circle and beat the Hawks goalie high to give Minnesota a 1-0 advantage 7:24 into the opening period. Read more »

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Lindbloom’s View: Game 3 and Mad Hatters

Lindbloom_MonaLisa_SheMustaHadTheHighwayBluesShots like that make me smile!

By Rich Lindbloom

Kevin Weekes on the NHL Network put it best. Patrick Kane’s electrifying, game winning tally in Game One of the Semi Finals was hockey’s equivalent of the Mona Lisa. He said you can go to the Louvre in Paris if you want, or save the money and watch a replay of Kaner’s goal instead. For those of us who witnessed Kaner’s surgical strike, are reactions were a bit more animated than Mona Lisa’a Delphic smile. Read more »

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Bickell big again in Game 2 victory over Wild

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks took a 2-0 series lead Sunday at the United Center, getting three-point performances from Bryan Bickell and Marian Hossa to down the Minnesota Wild 4-1. The Blackhawks never trailed in Game 2, getting goals from Bickell and Jonathan Toews along with a pair of goals from Brandon Saad.

First Period-After winning the faceoff, the Hawks got an early shot on goal when Niklas Hjalmarsson fired a slap shot that was caught be Ilya Bryzgalov. Corey Crawford gloved a puck that came up high off of Zach Parise’s skate early in the second minute.

Clayton Stoner was goaded into a cross-checking penalty by Saad at 3:29 of the period to set up a Chicago power play. Brent Seabrook sent an attempt toward net that Bickell got a stick on However, the puck rang off the crossbar and the Wild killed the penalty without surrendering a shot. Read more »

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Kane 3rd period Showtime deflates Wild push, Blackhawks take series opener 5-2

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 »

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Blackhawks recover, down Wild 3-2 in shootout

By Jon Fromi

The Chicago Blackhawks were looking at the daunting task of breaking a three-game skid without the services of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. Hosting Minnesota Thursday night, Chicago survived a late goal by the Wild and posted a 3-2 shootout win.

With the lineup lacking its usual star power, Ben Smith and a returning Bryan Bickell provided the offense for the Blackhawks. The result was a key victory as the regular season winds down.

First Period-Kris Versteeg got off a shot in the first minute after Wild goalie Ilya Bryzgalov misplayed the puck in front of the crease. However, Chicago found the going tough in terms of getting the puck to the net. Minnesota outshot the Hawks 9-5 in the opening period and scoring chances were few for the home team. Read more »

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Hawks victimized by late come from behind effort, fall 4-3 to Wild in Minnesota

By Michael Calvert

The Hawks came into St Paul riding a one game losing streak after dropping one in heart breaking fashion to the Stars.

Aside from the first, the lines looked much different.  Kris Versteeg played center for the second line, and I thought played fairly well.  Recent call ups Jeremy Morin and Joakim Nordstrom played on the third line with d man Sheldon Brookbank; you know Harding was shaking in his skates looking at that line.  The Hawks kept the 4th line of Bollig, Krüger and Ben Smith intact. Read more »

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Saad Story; Hawks dominate Wild in St. Paul

By Michael Calvert

Sometimes two games are just that, two games, and not some dramatic up or downward trend.

The Hawks and Wild were pretty evenly matched throughout most of the 1st on Monday night in St. Paul, but as the game got closer to final horn it got further in hand for the Hawks.  To say this game was a total blowout would be doing a disservice for Corey Crawford, who was phenomenal AGAIN.

Crawford stopped 30 of 31 shots for a lofty .967 save percentage.  The Hawks were actually outshot in this game, but when the scoring opportunities occurred, the superior talented Hawks closed on them.  Crawford was simply better than his Wild counterpart, Niklas Backstrom.  Read more »

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