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Discuss: Blackhawks build 2-0 series lead vs. Wild

May 4, 2013, 12:07 AM EDT

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After holding their breath before snagging a Game 1 win against the Minnesota Wild in overtime on Tuesday, the Chicago Blackhawks seemed back to business as usual with a commanding 5-2 victory in Game 2 on Friday. That leaves them up 2-0, as many expected.

Let’s get to the talking points.

  • Wild fans can at least point to the series going back to Minnesota, although that might not provide much solace. The Blackhawks are 18-4-2 away from the United Center, just a stride behind their 18-3-3 home mark.
  • Minnesota’s big three of Zach Parise, Ryan Suter and Mikko Koivu are pointless in two games. Should that highly-paid trio shoulder most of the blame?
  • Josh Harding has actually been quite good in relief of Niklas Backstrom. If the Finnish netminder is good to go for Game 3, should Minnesota turn to its normal No. 1 anyway?
  • Patrick Sharp and Michael Frolik scored two goals apiece. Which player had a better night? Was anyone better than the guys who grabbed the attention-getting numbers?
  • Do you expect the Blackhawks to sweep this series? If not, does Minnesota have any chance for an upset?
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  1. mgp1219 - May 4, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    Perhaps Suter needs to play 60 minutes.

    • polegojim - May 4, 2013 at 10:53 AM

      Yes MGP – you support what many of us have said since the contract…

      200 mil ‘Superstars’ don’t necessarily win Cups – they can only do so much, and become targets for opponents to hold down.

      See Rick Nash during Columbus days… trade the SS out… bring in a bunch of ‘hungry’ team players… and they changed the dynamic and possibilities drastically.

  2. pariseinminnesotabichez - May 4, 2013 at 12:22 AM

    Gay

    • esracerx46 - May 4, 2013 at 2:03 AM

      I really hope hope you’re a prepubescent little boy. If not you certainly act like one. Oh BTW, it was nice to see Parise show up tonight.

  3. northstarnic - May 4, 2013 at 1:18 AM

    Koivu is not a first line center, I’ve been saying it for years. Everybody loves to talk about how underrated he is because he supposedly plays such a complete game. Whatever. How about a goal once in a while.
    Frankly, as a wilds fan, the game tonight was exactly what I expected going into this series. Harding is keeping these games close, something that I don’t believe backtrom would have done nearly as effectively.
    The wilds, for basically their entire existence, have been a team that can’t finish around the net. Koivu is the poster boy for that affliction.
    Barring a miracle, Chicago owns this series. Sadly, a sweep is not an unreasonable expectation.
    Fletcher should offer to take Vanek’s fat expiring contract off buffalo’s hands in exchange for mikko after this season is over. It would actually be a good move for both clubs.

    • lordfletcher - May 4, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      I understand why you are mad but your rant makes little sense.

      As a wild fan I think others need to realize / understand this year was never going to happen for a playoff run, its all for building experience for the youngsters. Next year, more likely 2014/15 is the wilds best chance.

      as for vanek, he could be on the wilds roster in 2 years for free, why give more prospects and picks?

      no surprise the hawks are going to win this series easily, they dominated the entire regular season and now some fans expect MN to have a chance at winning the majority in 7? Come on now.

      go wild, try and make this go to 6 but otherwise get healthy for next year

      • purpleguy - May 4, 2013 at 1:16 PM

        Very good points — I think we need to do something with the defensemen though. Every time I see Gilbert, Falk, Stoner or Clark out there, my blood pressure doubles.

  4. phillyphanatic77 - May 4, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    Can a Blackhawks fan give me some insight on Michael Frolik? I remember him being a pretty dynamic playmaker in his first few seasons with Florida but since he’s been in Chicago I haven’t heard his name. Until this game, of course. Does he not get a lot of minutes? Did he just get more opportunities on bad Panthers teams? He was a high draft pick, if my memory serves me right.

  5. indianhead1992 - May 4, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    Frolik has been a solid 3rd and 4th liner for us. yes, with the panthers he was on the top line and was more a playmaker but with the hawks he took his stick handeling skills and handeye and applied it to defense. during the season he has struggling scoring but in the playoffs he tends to score more. vs the canucks two years ago he had a few goals with a penalty shot goal. tonight he scored, so as a hawks fan I can complain about this trade sending a good prospect in skille to florida.

    • esracerx46 - May 4, 2013 at 2:01 AM

      As far as Skills being a good prospect. He never was. He can skate, that’s all Skille can do. Besides that, Frolik is younger than Skille. Frolik took a while to get comfortable in his role. He still wanted to be that scorer he was in Florida, but on a Hawks team like this he’s 1. Not able to get the ice time/oppurtunites. And 2. Not asked to score. He’s a fourth line player on a pretty stacked team. He checks. He skates. He plays defense. He kills penalties. 3 out of 4 kill his offensive upside. But its a role he has taken to. His contract, when he was signed. I thought was quite fat, but the way he’s playing his role, that doesn’t bother me. Frolik and Salak for Skille. Salak didn’t pan out, but I think its pretty safe to say the Hawks won that trade. When Frolik came here he lost whatever scoring touch he had his first 2 years in Florida, so its not like his numbers decreased when he came to Chicago. He has reinvented himself now and has a totally different type of player compared to his first 2 years.

  6. hammerhead5573 - May 4, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    Frolic has ups and downs. He is mostly used on 3rd or 4th line. He seems to always be in the right place but never finishes the play. With that said he along with all the 3rd and 4th liners work really well together. I think he is always on the penalty kill which ranks near the top of NHL

    • squatch9 - May 4, 2013 at 2:22 AM

      When he’s set up as the ‘quarterback’ of his line, he makes poor decisions, like taking shots after the goalie squares up against him. Good player when the play breaks down, he’ll do what he did tonight. The thing with him is don’t expect him to set the play up, let him react to the results of the play. Much better player in that role, IMO.

  7. profsudz - May 4, 2013 at 1:52 AM

    I spent the majority of the game dreaming about PMB’s expiring contract, along with buying out Heater (and I don’t trash on him as much as some fans, but that’s a lot of money) and Brodz, who has been a complete bust since he won the lotto

    That’s 15 million to play with, which is 3 very solid players. Throw in a finisher on offense and a couple solid D men and all of a sudden we are talking business

    • esracerx46 - May 4, 2013 at 2:10 AM

      That 15 million is probably just enough to get under the reduced salary cap. I really don’t want to beat Wild fans when you’re down but if anyone knows Chuck Fletcher. Could you tell him Chicago fans really appreciate the Cam Barker for Nick Leddy and Kim Johnsson trade. Just hope the Hawks are able to resign Leddy.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - May 4, 2013 at 1:55 PM

        The cap is going down $6 million, or the amount of Backstrom’s expiring contract.

        Coming off the books as UFA’s along with Backstrom are:
        Bouchard 4.08
        Cullen 3.5
        Clark 900,000

        That leaves the Wild about 8.48 million.

        Cal Clutterbuck is a RFA, but in my eyes he’s not worth the 1.4 million plus whatever raise he’d get. I’d see if any team would offer him 1.5 million and recoup the 2nd round pick we traded.

        Not tendering Clutterbuck gives you 9.98 million to spend. That would Falk and Spurgeon as the remaining RFA’s that you need to make a decision on. I could go either way depending on their price.

        Also, Cam Barker’s 541,000 buy out comes off the books. So the Wild will roughly have 10.4 million to work with and 5-7 roster spots to figure out.

        You’d have to assume Granlund is coming back at 2.1 million, Dumba 1.7 million, Zucker 833k, and possibly Brett Bulmer making the team. All equal 5.2 million.

        That gives the Wild 5.2 million to work with for 1-3 roster spots.

        Instead of buying out Heatley, I’d rather buy out Gilbert and his 4.0 million, and Brodziak’s 2.83 million. I’d hold off on Heatley because this team needs defenseman.

        With the cap going down 6 million and teams able to buy out 2 players each, it should be a flooded market.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - May 4, 2013 at 1:58 PM

        It’s been reported around here it wasn’t Fletcher who made the Leddy/Barker trade. It was Wild owner Craig Leipold who wanted to make the playoffs that year was behind it.

      • esracerx46 - May 4, 2013 at 2:37 PM

        Apologies for not knowing Minnesota’s cap situation fully. You definitely did your homework. As far as Leipold, I don’t care for him. Not after the whole Nashville debacle. If thats true and he was the driving force behind Leddy/Barker…..another prime example of why SOME owners should just own and leave decisions to people who know something.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - May 4, 2013 at 5:14 PM

        Leipold definitely feels like the NHL’s version of Jerry Jones.

        I have mixed feels about him. On one hand your right he seems abrasive and I think over steps his bounds as the owner. He should be seen more than heard. However, I absolutely love he’s willing to pay salaries and try to win. The same can’t be said for a couple of other pro sports teams in this market.

  8. 950003cups - May 4, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    So, is like to admit I was wrong. I told Wild fans that when the playoffs come, Parise is easily shut down. I said that because that was the case for years in NJ.

    For some reason, when he went to Minny he’s all over the score sheet in the playoffs.

    I admit, I was wrong! You were all right. $98,000,000 seems like a bargain at this point. Nobody can shut him down all of the sudden! He’s scoring like a beast!

    I’m humbled to the max. Good luck in the cup finals. Try not to sweep the east, would ya?

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 4, 2013 at 5:27 AM

      When the pressure is high and the game matters the most, Parise is no where to be found. That was always the story come playoff time, except for one year, with the Devils. And to think, he’s a bigger cap hit than Kovalchuk. That’s funny.

      • credible316 - May 4, 2013 at 7:58 AM

        What’s really funny is the first round draft pick NJ is going to be giving up next year. I bet it’s a pretty high pick!

    • credible316 - May 4, 2013 at 7:50 AM

      Who are the Devils playing in the first round? I can’t seem to find them on tv.

      Minnesota Wild’s future > New Jersey Devils future

    • williplett - May 4, 2013 at 8:00 AM

      Oh, cuppsy…

      Your team litterally ran out of gas this year; a fast start (which you bragged up) was followed by the team crawling toward game 48 with a bottom 10 finish. Kovy was injured, your goalies were too old, Elias couldn’t keep up his early season pace, you still have to surrender a 1st round pick because of poor accounting and Henrique went from a playoff hero to a healthy scratch in the span of just one shortened season.

      How does it feel, going from the Finals to last place in your division in just one year?

      And yet you STILL insist on doing some of the lamest trash talking about Parise. We all get it: you are bitter. I would be too if my team failed to lock up our captain and that captain wanted out. But trolling Wild articles about their current playoff series with your weak insults right after your own team failed so magnificently is a real head scratcher.

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 4, 2013 at 9:42 AM

        Whoa calm down now. I think he was just giving you an honest assessment of Parise when it comes to big pressure and playoff games based upon his time watching him in NJ. I’ve watched a lot of hockey as a huge NHL fan, I’d have to say, he was pretty spot on with his assessment.

        As a fan of the Wild, a team that has gotten past the first round ONCE in their history while usually missing the playoffs altogether (which came very close to happening again, mind you), your team has a long way to go before you can come close to earning the right to talk trash to a Devils fan.

        Just sayin’.

  9. dtrb10 - May 4, 2013 at 8:21 AM

    Miiko Koivu is overrated. He is merely a 2nd or 3rd line center.

  10. 950003cups - May 4, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    Our goalies may be old, but they never chickened out of a playoff game pretending to be hurt.

    Next years pick will be no matter. It’ll be 30th overall.

    So, let’s compare: Elias, Henrique, Brodeur are all proven playoff heroes.

    Zachy Boy, never did squat when the chips were high. Ever. Until he does, zip your lip, cause you’re embarrassing yourself. I told you all a long time ago how fast he gets shut down in the playoffs.

    And those old goalies you speak of are hard workers. They took their team to the finals last year. I’ll take them in the post season over Nikas Backout any day. Let him win a series before everyone starts anointing him as Conn Smythe. Cause as of now, Nik Backout and Parise are front runners for the Conn Artist trophy. You have 2 proven playoff no shows.

    Now go and eat some Walleye fish and enjoy getting swept, you silly hicks.

    • credible316 - May 4, 2013 at 12:30 PM

      HA! 30th! Thanks, I just spit out some walleye!

      Now that you’re done putting on your make up for the day, shouldn’t you be tanning?

  11. purpleguy - May 4, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    Hawks are just better, but that was expected. Koiuvu needs to get his act together, and we need to let PMB fly away and ship Gilbert, Falk and Stoner far, far away before next year. Funny a Devils fan is on to bash Parise, who’s been the team’s best front-line player all year and at least made the most shots in the playoffs — but then again, I suppose there’s plenty of time to bitterly do so with no playoff team to watch.

  12. 950003cups - May 4, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Who’s this PMB stand for? Pierre McGuire’s Brother? Sure looks like him.

  13. 950003cups - May 4, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    @purpleguy

    Say what you want. You know the guy for two playoff games. We’ve watched him for a couple dozen. Basically, what you saw in two games is what you’ll see for a loooooong loooooong time. Very bad under pressure. He’s a great regular season player. He sucks in the post season.

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