Good morning. I’m sure you want to read about that pile of crap as little as I want to write about it, but that’s what we’re all here for, so I’ll get to it.
This is going to be brief as we’ve all got better things to be doing.
From 2-0 up and cruising, to 2-2 and scrabbling. Losing in the Xcel is no shame: it’s been a fortress for the Wild and just holding serve at the UC will be enough. It’s the abject manner in which the Hawks have biffed these last two that causes the worry. The Chicago Blackhawks got outshot by the Minnesota Wild at a 3:2 ratio. This in a game where the Hawks were trailing most of the time. Seven shots for the Hawks in the 3rd Period. What on earth is going on here?
- A night to forget for just about everyone and that includes the Coach. Quenneville is showing his usual awareness by talking about “Crowd…energy..momentum” as if the Hawks had never played in a loud building before. I think we can safely assume that he’d instructed the team to jazz up the offense, because we saw plenty of stupid, over-ambitious pass attempts and a general tendency to flee the defensive zone at the earliest opportunity, straight into the loving arms of the Wild’s trap in the neutral.
- Corey Crawford had another bad night. Should have had two of those, but what are you going to do? Ilya Bryzgalov was terrible, too (one outstanding stop on Sharp notwithstanding) but the Hawks didn’t generate enough to capitalise.
- Matt Cooke was back, was OK, didn’t maim anyone, got an assist, so the shitbag Wild media made him 3rd Star of the game because they suck. Edzo was fawning over him all game, too , maybe looking forward to their long, fruitful relationship when he’s in the DoPS.
- Michal Handzus got a goal. Felt like I should mention that. Well done, Michal.
- Oh the line blending, the line blending. Clear sign that Q is panicking. God only knows what combinations were going out there last night. Much better idea to pick your best team, organise it right and let them do their thing, maybe, Joel?..
- ..which brings us to Brandon Bollig (TOI 4.44, points 0, shots 0, stupid penalty 1), Jeremy Morin (TOI 7.09, points 0, shots 2, stupid penalty 1) and Joakim Nordstrom (TOI 6.30, points 0, shots 1. stupid penalty 0 but was a -1). These guys took two shifts in the 3rd Period (Bollig, in fact, got one). If they’re not going to play, then they shouldn’t be on the team. Morin can expect to be launched into the sun despite being the best of them once given some decent linemates later on.
I don’t know. There’s nothing wrong here that can’t be fixed very rapidly, mainly by remembering that they’re the Chicago Blackhawks and playing like it. If they don’t get this sorted then not only is this team at risk of going out in the 2nd Round but, even if they progress, the Kings (or Ducks) for that matter, are hoving into view on the horizon and this sort of nonsense will make for a very short WCF. It’s now a 3 game series and it’s going back to Chicago on Sunday.. I’ll see you all there. Enjoy your weekend and be excellent to one another.