The Blackhawks two-step continues. Two steps forward, one step back. Two steps back, one step forward, and on and on it goes. When it stops, nobody knows.
A first period that saw the Hawks get more standing ovations than President Obama’s State of the Union and only two goals came back to bite them. Troy Brouwer, Jake Dowell, and Ryan Johnson all had golden opportunities to extend the Hawks lead. They didn’t and a period the Hawks absolutely dominated only saw them with a mere 2-1 advantage.
The Wild scored twice in the second period one of which was ultra soft. Corey Crawford let a 55 foot wrist shot that was partially deflected squeeze through his legs. Minnesota took the lead for good when they finished off a perfectly executed 3-on-2.
The Hawks chance to tie the score came and went when Duncan Keith’s blast rung off the post halfway through the third. Minnesota scored on their ensuing rush when Pierre Marc-Bouchard finished off an extended 2-on-1. Nothing left to see here.
–It wasn’t Corey Crawford’s best night. He gave Martin Havlat nearly half the net to shoot at on Minnesota’s first goal. Their second goal should have never gone in and on their fourth goal, Crawford moved with the speed of a drunken sloth as he tried to get up in his crease.
That being said, the Hawks should have been able to score more than two goals with the amount of odd-man rushes they had in the first period.
–Patrick Kane absolutely owned Brent Burns. He must have picked his pocket a half dozen times. If it wasn’t for a quick whistle and some timely goaltending from Niklas Backstrom, that +2 Burns was sporting could have been a whole lot worse.
–The good news is the Hawks have a full week off to recharge their batteries while Stan Bowman tries to figure out what kind of team he has. The bad news is a 6 game West coast road trip awaits the Hawks out of the break. More good news is that the trip consists of visits to Columbus, Edmonton, and Calgary. The days of not getting two points against those teams are over. Their other three games come against Vancouver, Dallas and Phoenix. So a sweep of the bottom feeders and a win against Phoenix would make that a successful trip. Unfortunately, nothing’s promised with this team.
–Is it just me or does it seem like Nick Boynton chooses to pinch at the absolute worst time every time? And what’s with him only being 31 years old. The guy looks like he’s easily pushing 40 and plays like he’s 50. I think we’re all in agreement when I say enough is enough.
–So much for the 5-on-3 big momentum swing that Joel Quenneville and Pat Foley love to talk about. The Hawks killed off a long 5-on-3 in the first period and then….lost. Funny how that never gets mentioned when it doesn’t fit.