Blackhawks 3, Wild 1

If the Blackhawks’ ‘one goal’ was to play a solid, sixty-minute game, Monday’s tilt against the Niklas Backstrom and the Minnesota Wild at home was a nice starting point – even if no style points were awarded in the game played without Jonathan Toews and Brent Seabrook.

The Hawks jumped out to a lead as the first half of the first period wound down. After Dave Bolland corralled a loose puck just outside the Wild zone, he fed Andrew Ladd for a one-timer in the slot. Ladd’s shot was stopped, but Bolland scooped in the rebound to give the Hawks’ the lead. They would never let it slip.

Then, with less than three minutes to play in the first frame, Troy Brouwer risked life and limb to get himself onto the porch of the Wild net. He took a shoulder – and nearly a skate blade – to the face while shoveling a juicy Backstrom rebound behind the Wild netminder. It was the Hawks’ lone power play goal on the evening.

Unfortunately for the Wild, their biggest mistake was scoring on the power play in the third period. Their goal was followed by five dominant minutes by the Blackhawks, which included another highlight reel goal by Patrick Kane. Kane dangled behind the net, emerged out front around Backstrom’s blocker side, and in one motion, spun towards his forehand side and roofed the puck into a spot above Backstrom’s shoulder that was no bigger than a square foot.

That’ll teach the Wild.

For the record, the Wild tally came on the power play when a loose puck found Andrew Brunette on the doorstep. He didn’t miss the gaping net.

I have plenty more thoughts on Monday’s game. Unfortunately, I also have dental work to be performed this morning. I promise other notes later this morning or during the very early afternoon.  Until then, have at it.

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8 Responses to Blackhawks 3, Wild 1

  1. Dave Morris says:

    Well, Gentlemen, as we know, there are no points awarded for style in the good ol’ hockey game.

    This win represents another step forward for The Black Hawks as a T=E=A=M.

    Monsieur Huet seems quite OK.

    If Da Boyz can continue to play this way, it means only good things when the stars return.

    Ebbett and Dowell showed their Commitment to The Indian, and Bashful Brent keeps on surprising us with steady if not particularly stylish contributions. Mr. Sopel’s progress may be a result of tutoring by the Q himself, as we remember Jaunty Joel’s journey as a jam man on the blueline during his playing career.

    As Q himself cautioned though, “Nothing to be satisfied with.”

    Carry On, Hawk Men.

  2. Patrick says:

    I didn’t see much of the game last night, but of what I did, I think that the Sopel / Keith paring may make long-term sense, and with that, I would put Seabrook and Barker together, providing more balance throughout the D-man parings (but saying this, Barker and Seabrook may play on the same side and the point may be moot).

    Other observations – Huet is going to be just fine. Yes, the Wild aren’t all that strong, even with Mr. Checkrosexual, but a W is a W, especially in front of the home crowd.

    The Hawks are deep! Even with Towes and Seabrook out (not to mention the others), the Hawks have been fairly dominant and have played up to expectations rather than using missing players as an excuse.

    Good luck with the dentist – I don’t envy you…

  3. Patrick says:

    A few more items:

    1. That shot that Kane made – not sure if many (if any) others make that – just plain sick
    2. Madden was everywhere – could be the best signing of the offseason (and at this rate, would love to see him come back)
    3. Versteeg was flying last night and making smart plays – playing with Madden will only benefit him longterm – he’s a keeper

  4. Lou says:

    @John, may want a seat on the Sopel shuttle soon. He is playing solid, battler hockey.

    @Dave you said it TEAM and the Brouwer freight train seems to be getting it. He does the dirty work and his confidence is growing. Watch out Buff, you have some serious competition coming and he doesn’t take a play off.

    @Patrick, Kane’s goal was simply wicked and I think he needs to do more of that. The Hawks are indeed deep. I think that depth is ultimately going to help us to improve the blue line

    The Keith-Sopel Tandem is interesting and my guess is you may see more of it but I don’t think that will be a permanent pairing. That potentially puts your #1 or your #2 defenseman in the third pair. The best players have to be on the ice at even strength or in the clutch and chemistry is key.

    Lots of scuttlebutt but I really think Barker and maybe Campbell are moved. Barker is single dimensional and has questionable hockey sense watch him anticipate the puck as it wraps around the zone and then watch some of the other guys. Tell me if you see what I see. Campbell has helped us but Keith is growing into the same role that Campbell plays on the PP. So Soup may ultimately become available and Hossa can play the point on the PP.

    Madden is excellent but watching him on TV doesn’t do his game total justice. I sit in 300 level on the blue line and can really see the entire play. He is even better when you watch what he does up and down the ice without the puck. The TV cameras don’t always capture that. It is just a matter of time before he gets a shorty. He reminds me of Brent Sutter in 91-92.

    And on a different note, if anyone saw the utter look of complete surprise and happiness when Mr. Patrick Kane (earned it for that day) gave young Logan Molenhouse his hockey stick on Saturday (Hockey Fights Cancer Night), you got to see what giving back is all about. That young man was utterly stunned! Well done Mr. Kane. Well Done.

    Have we heard anything on how the meetings with Kane/Toews agent went. He was supposedly in town last week.

  5. Mike says:

    Lou, I was at the game Saturday and say the exchange with Logan and Kane. Excellent move by Kane, very classy. Put a lump in my throat.

  6. Lou says:

    Me too, It was sweet.

  7. Tom says:

    I was at the game last night – a few things that seemed to interest me:

    Kane’s goal really didn’t look like it went in – I was expecting a review from Hockey Heaven to say that it didn’t go in. Even on the replays on the jumbotron didn’t look like it went it. HOW DID IT GO IN?????

    Secondly, I love him, but Soup seems to not be able to keep the puck in the zone more often than not. Or am I just singling him out?

    Versteeg looked lost out there, at least in the first period, like genuinely confused as to what he was doing.

    How many more off-stick passes are the Hawks going to make? They have the skill and speed to make up for horrid passes (except for one beauty that crossed center ice in I want to say the 2nd?). How much longer is this going to keep happening?

    And when will Q stop with line changes when the other team is making a break (read: ’08-09 playoffs, last night against Wild which almost gave up a goal, it was a 3 on 2 scenario due to the change, if I remember correctly, in the 2nd which almost gave up a goal).

    As for Huet, I’m of the camp of why is he still in a Hawks uni, but the goal on Huet was not his fault, another dumb penalty put the Hawks short-handed on the ice, and too many shots on goal from the Wild. He’s played a great two games, and I hope for his sake and my heart that he keeps it up (but, it was also against two sub-par teams). I hope he shuts me and the rest of the naysayers up, and soon. I don’t mind eating my own words, especially when it comes at the benefit of the Hawks.

  8. Keith says:

    Logans puck drop was awesome!! Shows that in addition to being a good team, the Hawks are a first class organization!

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