Skip to content

Blackhawks take 2-0 series lead against Wild after pulling away in third period

May 4, 2014, 5:52 PM EDT

Much like Game 1, the contest was quite a bit closer than the final score might indicate,* but the bottom line is that the Chicago Blackhawks now have a 2-0 series lead against the Minnesota Wild after winning Game 2 by a 4-1 mark on Sunday.

Closer than it appears?

It’s easy to see that the Blackhawks are hot right now. Stretching back to their first-round battle against the St. Louis Blues, they’ve now won six consecutive playoff games.

It’s also a special win for head coach Joel Quenneville, for those counting:

The good news for the Wild is that they’ve been here before. The Colorado Avalanche took a 2-0 series lead against them in round one only to see Minnesota advance after seven games (which included an overtime battle in that decisive game). While the first two games against Colorado were often out of control for Minnesota, these first two losses were tighter until the Blackhawks pulled away in the third period of each game.

The shot totals probably tell the story best: Minnesota limited Chicago to 22 shots on goal in both games.

Not easy for Breezy

For all the good that comes out of those observations, the bottom line is that the Wild have been outscored by a combined score of 9-3 through these first two games.

Fair or not, one must wonder if Minnesota can put much trust in Ilya Bryzgalov. The Russian-born goalie has lost four of five games in the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs and his lone win came in just 13:15 of game time (from Game 7 after Darcy Kuemper left with an injury). His individual numbers haven’t been very strong, either, so it’s not just a matter of the team in front of him.

It’s probably true that Bryzgalov isn’t the only problem for Minnesota, yet they might just need him to carry them at times. (The goals often haven’t been Breezy’s fault, but his prospects as an unrestricted free agent seem to dip with each start.)

Bickell heats up

While Patrick Kane understandably grabbed the spotlight in Chicago’s Game 1 win, it’s worth noting that the Bryan BickellJonathan ToewsMarian Hossa line is on fire for the ‘Hawks.

Toews scored the first goal for Chicago, Bickell collected two assists and added a goal in the third period (after clanging the iron on his previous shift) and Hossa had three helpers in Game 2. It’s little surprise that Toews and Hossa are looking strong, but Bickell seems to be on track for a playoff breakthrough for the second straight year. After only managing 15 points in 59 games in the regular season, Bickell has eight playoff points (all in a four-game streak).

If this trio can keep it going, it will be highly difficult for any team to slow Chicago down.

* – In the case of Game 1, it was 5-2.

  1. credible316 - May 4, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    Alright boys, gut check time. Back to the fuse box!

    GO WILD!!

  2. slickvb82 - May 4, 2014 at 5:58 PM

    Horrible game by the Wild. They need to get home, get that jump back in their step. They also need to figure out how to contain Bickell, he’s kicking our ass!

  3. idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 4, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    lordfletcher, clarke16, credible316, ibeezy, strictly, slickvb

    Did you guys catch the game today?

    It’s beginning to smell a lot like summer …

    LOL

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 4, 2014 at 6:05 PM

      It bears repeating since the Avs crushed the Wild in round 1:

      ———
      idonthavethebloodyoucrave – Apr 21, 2014 at 4:24 PM
      “After watching these 2 games, it’s quite clear that the Avs have a speed that the Wild don’t have skill to deal with. Their “best” players have been getting out worked and out skated for 105 of the 120+ minutes. Suter, Cook, or Parise have been on the ice all of the Avs goals except 1. The Avs worked out their playoff jitters in game one and haven’t looked back. Game 2 was dominated by the Avs. The score should have been 4 to 1, if the Refs don’t blow that horrible and wrong off-sides call on P.A.

      This series has been lob sided since the Avs shook their jitters. Only San Jose vs LA has been more lob sided.

      The Wild better hope Kuemper can steal a game for them, cause the people in front of him certainly can’t.”
      ——–

      Should be the SAME FATE for the Wild in this one!

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 4, 2014 at 6:06 PM

        HAHAHAHA

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 4, 2014 at 6:08 PM

      And then your scumbag intentionally injured their best offensive point man … series turned.

      And here we are =-)

      • mp1131211 - May 4, 2014 at 6:16 PM

        And our Goalie switched out. Bryz should have had goal number 3 today, and I felt like he should have worked harder to get the falling puck in goal 1, but hard to fault him after he made a great save initially. Bryz hasn’t been that bad in this series actually. The Wild are leaving him mostly high and dry.

        Suter played better today, but Parise didn’t. These guys need to move their feet and play instead of stnading around and trying to make complicated passes cross ice.

        Your criticisms are sort of true, but mostly exagerated. Not even sure why I’m interacting with you as you’ll probably just respond with some taunt about 98 million, but I guess it is worth stating that the Wild are not getting what they expect from their leaders right now.

        Time to pick it up, boys! GO WILD!

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 4, 2014 at 6:22 PM

        I don’t recall you defending Matt Cooke after he intentionally injured another player.

        I have no beef with you, sir.

        Your best player today was Stoner, hands down.

      • homegrowntalentmn - May 4, 2014 at 6:28 PM

        #freemattcooke

    • clarke16 - May 4, 2014 at 8:11 PM

      Do you really have better to do than troll hockey boards of teams were you have no vested interest, youcouldneverbetheslapdickiam? I mean–it’s the weekend–you know, where people spend time HAVING A LIFE? And here you are… God almighty, son–take up knitting or get an ant farm or go play dodge-car out on the freeway–you’re just amusing us with your attempt to make the douchebag hall-of fame here, Jabrone… :)

      • slickvb82 - May 4, 2014 at 9:03 PM

        Just don’t respond to him, its not worth anyones time. Sadly he just sits and waits for it just so he has something to do.

    • strictlythedanks - May 5, 2014 at 1:59 AM

      I see no one got you that tampon you so desperately crave, it bears repeating:

      get a life

      Your not a fan of the wild, we get it. You’re a debby downer.

      Honestly speaking of summer, get outside for once, take a breathe, get a grip, and finally grow a pair.

      Anyways, we all feel sorry for your pathetic existence. Get some help.

    • strictlythedanks - May 5, 2014 at 2:01 AM

      Over under on the age of this jabroni?

      I’m thinking 12?

      • clarke16 - May 5, 2014 at 11:44 AM

        Over. 12 is the age it all started, however, when the Jabrone was the only boy in the class not invited to Billy’s birthday party… :)

  4. jpat2424 - May 4, 2014 at 6:01 PM

    Hawks fan here. Stoner is keeping you in games. Very impressed

    • slickvb82 - May 4, 2014 at 6:04 PM

      He’s playing well, Scandella is too.

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 4, 2014 at 6:04 PM

      Maybe they should have paid him 98 million dollars since he wasn’t a -3.

      • homegrowntalentmn - May 4, 2014 at 6:13 PM

        What you think toews and kane are gonna fetch this off season num nuts…

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 4, 2014 at 6:16 PM

        They’re not UFA’s until after the 2014-2015 season.

        How can you be so lazy as to not fact check that?

        Fail less, numb nuts.

      • wjarvis - May 5, 2014 at 12:47 AM

        Well they likely are going to sign extensions this summer or early next year, my guess is somewhere around $70 million for 8 years. They’ll both have higher cap hits than Parise or Suter, but with the 8 year max length on contract they won’t reach the total amount of the 13 contracts signed by Parise and Suter.

  5. hammerhead5573 - May 4, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    Unless the Wild stop the stretch pass the Hawks are continue to get high scoring chances. Also that was the best game in the playoffs so far for Saad, which is nice because Sharp has been non-existent so far.

  6. homegrowntalentmn - May 4, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    #freemattcooke

  7. blackhawks2010 - May 4, 2014 at 6:25 PM

    Hawks in 5. Bryz, enough said.

  8. muckleflugga - May 4, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    it bears repeating again … and again … and

    idonthavethebloodyoucrave | May 4, 2014, 16:05 ‘ MDT
    It bears repeating since the Avs crushed the Wild in round 1:

    ———
    idonthavethebloodyoucrave – Apr 21, 2014 at 4:24 PM
    “After watching these 2 games, it’s quite clear that the Avs have a speed that the Wild don’t have skill to deal with. Their “best” players have been getting out worked and out skated for 105 of the 120+ minutes. Suter, Cook, or Parise have been on the ice all of the Avs goals except 1. The Avs worked out their playoff jitters in game one and haven’t looked back. Game 2 was dominated by the Avs. The score should have been 4 to 1, if the Refs don’t blow that horrible and wrong off-sides call on P.A.

    This series has been lob sided since the Avs shook their jitters. Only San Jose vs LA has been more lob sided.

    The Wild better hope Kuemper can steal a game for them, cause the people in front of him certainly can’t.”
    ——–

    Should be the SAME FATE for the Wild in this one!

    • avsfan2014 - May 5, 2014 at 8:18 AM

      Wild have controlled 3 periods so far, Hawks 2, and one tied. If Harding were in the nets, the refs were neutral, the series would go 4-1 wild. But we’ll see. .

  9. earpaniac - May 4, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    Most of these aren’t Bryz’s fault. On Toews’ goal, that was all Koivu. The Wild are a good team, just not Hawk good. I just can’t see them winning 4 out of 5 from the Blackhawks.

    • clarke16 - May 4, 2014 at 8:29 PM

      Exactly. Most of those today were just snipes that no goalie would be likely to stop consistently…

      Neither game is on Bryz. The Wild are having a tough time in their own end and aren’t taking the man so far in that zone… The forecheck has been decent–but the D needs to start knocking people down in front of the net and making people pay along the walls…

      Suter continues to look tired. No egregious errors this game like the two against the Avs–but just playing very unexceptional hockey the past 5 games…and the big guns really need to step it up. Koivu, Parise, Moulson, Granny–just not getting it done. Pominville has been the one creating the chances–but he needs to get on the sheet as well.

  10. jpat2424 - May 4, 2014 at 6:42 PM

    Go Bloody Go Go

    • strictlythedanks - May 5, 2014 at 1:55 AM

      so we’ve got too lifeless trolls, you gals should get a room

  11. bfile73 - May 4, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    James O’Brien,

    I agree with all of your comments except the Game 1 Wild vs Avalanche description. Minnesota had game won until 13 second 6-5 goal.

  12. jhuck92 - May 4, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    For me, the difference between last series against the Avs and this series against the ‘Hawks is the Wild goaltending. I said it before, if Kuemper is out and Bryz is in goal for any amount of time, I can’t see the Wild winning this series. There’s a reason they took it to 7 games, and Kuemper was a huge part of that. But the ‘Hawks have already beat a better goalie in Ryan Miller.

    I kinda feel bad for Minnesota’s luck in goal against Chicago. Last year, their #1 got hurt in the game 1 warmups. This year, they lost their #1 just before facing Chicago again. Bryz went in, made only 1 save, and got his only win this postseason. Kuemper did all the hard work, and now Bryz has some big skates to fill.

    • clarke16 - May 4, 2014 at 8:50 PM

      If you really think that it’s the goaltending that is the difference between the Wild winning/losing these past two games–then you really need to start paying better attention…

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 4, 2014 at 9:42 PM

        I hear 196 Million Dollars for a -8 is money well spent …

        Still laughing at how hard Suter got schooled by Kane … never gets old.

      • mp1131211 - May 4, 2014 at 10:15 PM

        I mean Suter is on the ice for 50% of the game, sometimes more. What can you expect? He’s going to be there for a lot of goals. His +/- rating happens to be low right now because the wild are getting scored on a lot more than they are scoring.

        One of the reasons why you’ll never convince a wild fan that Suter and Parise are over paid is because last year was a better year than most recent years and this year better yet again. So +/- makes no difference. Minnesotans can’t wait to get into their seats on Tuesday.

      • jhuck92 - May 4, 2014 at 10:34 PM

        You’re right, the long lead passes weren’t working tonight. I’m just saying I think the series would be split right now if Kuemper was in goal. Correct me if I’m wrong but the Wild have been outshooting the ‘Hawks.

        Either way, they have to climb out of a 2 game hole and I have to believe they want Kuemper back as soon as possible.

      • wjarvis - May 5, 2014 at 1:08 AM

        While Bryz hasn’t been fantastic, he’s not the reason the Wild are in an 0-2 hole. In game 1, 3 of the goals no goalie would have stopped and the 4th wasn’t really a save that you’d expect most goalies to stop. The Wild probably should have scored more than 2 goals in the first game, but Crawford was fantastic. Today if Kuemper was in goal maybe the final score is 2-1 instead of 4-1, but the Wild just haven’t put enough pucks in the net to win a game.

        Goaltending isn’t going to be strong enough to steal a game from the Hawks, but it certainly isn’t a major reason why they’ve lost so far.

      • clarke16 - May 5, 2014 at 11:54 AM

        The greenhorn hockey fan is prone to very simplistic assessments in explanation for what occurs on the ice. The logic train goes like this:

        Other team won –> Other team scored more goals –> Our goalie didn’t stop the puck on goals –> Our goalie stinks and is reason we lost.

    • chicagobtech - May 4, 2014 at 11:31 PM

      I had completely forgotten about the injury to Backstrum in warmups. Yeah, the Wild’s goalies are a bit snakebitten going into playoff games against the Blackhawks.

      As for shots, Minnesota leads the series but the Blackhawks outshot them today. We’ll see how the trend goes as the teams move north.

  13. mikeevergreen - May 5, 2014 at 7:04 AM

    The Blackhawks are playing with their food. Somebody’s Mom should bring her marble rolling pin into that locker room and start swinging.

  14. florida727 - May 5, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    I’m a Hawks fan and I’m still leery of the Wild. All we did so far is ‘hold serve’, win the games we’re supposed to win. Liking it so far, obviously, but don’t count out MN quite yet. Crawford’s getting little ink considering what he’s done so far.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Alfredsson (2139)
  2. B. Bishop (2057)
  3. M. Fleury (1871)
  4. J. Schultz (1659)
  5. D. Krejci (1646)
  1. J. Boychuk (1606)
  2. E. Staal (1544)
  3. C. Anderson (1510)
  4. R. Lehner (1424)
  5. D. Setoguchi (1292)