• jordyhawk

    I really want this game tonight. Our last sweep (actually our only sweep since the resurrection) was of Sharks in 2010. That was brilliant and set us up nicely for the final. A win tonight will mean we gave them absolutely nothing. I am hoping our guys will be totally hungry and continue the highly professional play of the past week. We all point to Hossa as the epitome of pursuit on defense and 200 foot play. It’s like we have a team of Hossas right now. Just building on that is reason enough to come out hard right out of the gate and end this tonight.

    • Jim

      Would be nice to see a handshake line.

      Blues, Wild, Preds, they are all franchises that are reeling. They gave it their best shots, and they all fell way short, and wondering what it will take. They are going to have to wait for the Hawks to get old or hurt, or crippled by the cap.

      There is just no answer for the Hawks core of superstars and their depth. Not easy to get a superstar via free agency and stay under the cap, and you need to be in the lottery to draft one (like what the Hawks did). And the fortuitous timing of Kane’s injury allowed Chicago to get Vermette and Dejardines, who are turning out to be key components of this run. AND, if that wasn’t enough, TT is coming into his own during the playoffs.

      I will also have to say that the Chicago coaching has been very very good for this post season. I’ve had my complaints about Q in the WCF last year, but no complaints this run (well, quibbles about Versteeg, but…) And he’s playing Rozy, but there is nobody else, Runblad maybe but that is a lateral move at best. And he’s limiting Rozi’s minutes, and playing his top 4 D extended minutes.

      • jordyhawk

        Agree on Q. Everyone pretty much wanted same moves (Shaw to RW, Vermette in, Versteeg out) and I think i t would be naive to believe that Q was of different mind, but I wonder if there are things he insists on seeing first before he makes the moves no matter how obvious they are.

        I personally think Runblad would be heavily targeted if he were in there and would likely crumple. Rozy (flaws aside) can weather the heavy going (he is a strong dude). And one more reason to close it tonight is to rest 2/4/7/27 and prep them for the heavy minutes to come. Oduya has been stellar. He has looked great on the retrievals and exits.

  • ourgeorge

    Crawford and Hawks defense deserve credit for a stellar game, but watching the replay I noticed how few legitimate chances the Wild manufactured in the second half of the game.

    The Hasek-style blocker save by Crawford in the crease; Parise kicked that puck toward the net. The goal line pad save with the puck slowly rolling in; a freak bounce off the glass behind the net. Excellent job by Crawford of tracking those pucks and making those saves, but those are the chances everyone thinks about that represent second-half ‘pressure’ from the Wild and they were fluky.

    Otherwise, the Wild simply weren’t able to put shots on the net. Corsi numbers tell a tail of dominance, but shot after shot was either blocked or sailed wide. The amazing part was that the Wild never seemed to make it a priority to put shots on goal. The only Wild players I noticed who directed their energy toward the goal after gaining possession in the offensive zone were Granlund, Parise, and Dumba. The rest were looking to pass around the perimeter. By the end of the 3rd it seemed like the Wild were dispirited by the futility of it all and started committing turnovers. They would’ve had more luck and the crowd would’ve gotten into it if they had focused on getting shots through traffic and onto the net.

    This is something the Hawks to do very well. Down by a goal with the opposing team in a defensive shell the Hawks maintain their confidence and continually pepper the opposing goal with shots. The confidence goes up with each shot that gets through until we blast one into the back of the net through a Shaw or Bickell screen.

    This is a recurring theme with the Wild, they believe they lack ‘finishers’ but what they really lack is ‘manufacturers.’

    • Oldfarthawkfan

      Your post is spot on.

      There was one shift in the third period where the Wild had the puck for what seemed to be a minute and a half, but all they got out of it was cycle time along the boards and one shot that Jammer blocked. So they had possession, but the Hawks with the lead made sure that the puck never made it into any dangerous scoring opportunity. As Milbury said afterwards, the Wild had the puck a lot in the third period, but never seemed dangerous.

    • Jim

      Yes, but Richards hit a crossbar, and Dubynk made some great saves also. It works both ways.

      • ZigZags82

        Nice to see them capable of it