Swingin Party: Blackhawks 4 – Wild 3 (Hawks Sweep Series 4-0)

Box Score
Event Summary
War On Ice
Natural Stat Trick

When McClure and I were in our seats prior to Game 1, I asked him how he felt about facing the Wild this time around. Like many Hawks fans, I was a little nervous this time around. There was no hotter team in the league than the Wild (save for maybe the Sens) and there was just a bit of thought around the league that the Wild might just have the Hawks number this year. McClure however just argued that the Wild were pretty much a paper tiger… it’s annoying when he’s so right, isn’t it?

In four straight games, the Wild never so much as even held the lead. Somewhat of an opposite of the last series when the Hawks went two games without ever holding a lead (despite a 1-1 record). The Hawks were surgical for large stretches of the game. Despite a close score, there wasn’t any sense of danger. The Hawks were up 1 going into the third and we all know the stats there. I tweeted that it would likely be the most difficult of all the thirds they’d seen so far. And I was right.. but not until we all pretty much thought the game was already over. Kaner scores on a pretty little goal in which Bicks was able to knock a bouncing puck between defenders. I’m not sure if Kaner settled it down or just was able to whack it between Dub’s legs. Either way, we started to let loose. When Marian Hossa scored from 185 feet away into the empty net, the celebrations began. Little did we know it would actually end up being the game winner. That Hossa… so clutch.

  • OK – so lets get right to it. That was just a gruesome injury to Rozi. If you’re reading us, you’re likely to know none of us have ever been anywhere remotely close to Camp Rozsival. It seems we always have a whipping boy and Rozi was our go-to for most of the year (though Versteeg is a close second). That being said, we’ve given him credit for actually being pretty damn alright since around Game 3 or 4 of the Preds series and it’s just a shame to see him go out on that ugly of a play. As someone who is really just learning to skate for the first time, seeing it all go that wrong is horrifying. It wasn’t some freak contact or any dirty play.. he was just turning around and got tripped up. It happens all the time in the course of a game but everything went haywire. At his age and with what appeared to be so gnarly of an injury, that could possibly be the last time Rozi ever plays in the NHL. We’ve said a lot about him.. but he deserved better.
  • Oh, and few people have been more critical of him than us… but if you’re one of those assholes who was cheering after his injury. Go drink bleach.
  • Lets not kid oursevles though. There seemed to be an overreaction to Rozsival’s injury that thought the Hawks were in trouble, if not for the remainder of the playoffs than at least for the game. I can understand those panicking right after the injury. It seemed to mean the Hawks would have to lean harder on Timonen than in previous matches and he hasn’t exactly panned out the way many of us had hoped. Didn’t really work out that way either though. Timonen finished with 8:25 TOI in total… up less than 3 minutes more he saw in a close game on Tuesday. He still saw the fewest minutes of any Hawk in the third by just about a full minute. As is his wont, Q pushed harder on Marlboro 72 and the Swedes.

    What will be interesting is to see who replaces Rozi in the lineup for the next game and how those pairings work out. I can’t imagine Q would pair Rundblad or Cuminsky (the two clear choices) with Keith in these situations. If he didn’t trust them to play before, he’s certainly not going to ask them to play against the same guys as Flash.

    However it plays out, Keith, Seabs, and the Swedes are clearly going to be asked to play and absurd amount of minutes in the upcoming games. Getting a few days off is a godsend. If the Flames wanna go ahead and win that one to give the Hawks more needed rest, that’d just be swell.

  • On Shaw’s goal, didn’t it seem like Prosser started to lift himself up off the ice, allowing Shaw to go underneath him for a shot that Dubnyk never even had a chance of seeing? If he had stayed prone, he likely could have at least blocked any attempt from Shaw.
  • Odd to have two teams face each other 3 times in the post-season (plus all the regular season matches) and for there still to be no real bad blood between them. When the Hawks faced the Canucks this often it was some of the most spiteful and angry hockey we’ve seen in a while. With this, there really doesn’t seem to be much bile. There hasn’t been as much after the whistle scrums and dirty play (despite Cooke’s best efforts), so that has a lot to do with it. In good rivalries, it seems like the players genuinely hate each other… I just don’t get that feeling at all in this one. Maybe that’s just because, as Hawks fans, we’ve been on the winning side.
  • Patrick Kane. Oh boy. 104 points in 103 playoff games. 5 straight games with goals and one in each in this series. He used as much black magic to heal that collarbone as he does on the ice.



  • ZigZags82

    IF someone steps up in those spot minutes Rozy was filling and is just OK, it shouldn’t matter. Been riding the top 4 for awhile now anyway. I know he hasn’t been the most liked Hawk for his play, but I hope his career doesn’t end on sad note and they can finish the job for him. Plenty of rest for them now too as mentioned. That being said….8.

    • Yeah, I was asking myself the same question that you and Killion did…namely, “Geez, is this the last time #32 ever steps on an NHL rink?”. So very strange we now find ourselves wringing our hands at varying levels concerning the question “Who is going to replace Rozy?” I’m not overly concerned about it just yet, just can’t help find it funny that we are in this new Bizarro World.

      Eight, indeed.

      • Lemmy

        Feel bad for Rozy, but from a purely hockey perspective, he’s replaceable. The replacement(s) just need a series to get up to speed from Rozy eating up all ice-time since April. Thanks for that coach.

  • Bob Lanz

    8 damn that’s sweet, sweep to boot. I haven’t felt that terrified in a final two minutes in a really long time, 17 seconds maybe? 🙂 on to the WCF. May our boys rest and heal and the Q-Stache find a defensive combo that works. R.I.P. Rozy

    • ZigZags82

      Have to think top 4 back together for now.

    • Brewblaz

      Bob,,..now Hawks can get some rest, the 4 lines are cranking, Some Hawks fans may dislike Rozy, but who’s going to replace him?…the one 1 thing that is scary, if one of the big 4 defensemen go down. Would love to see Flames upset Ducks….5 conference finals in 7 yrs,, Go Hawks!

      • ToucanStubbs

        Where’s Brookbank when you need him?

        • Jim

          the accountant

      • ZigZags82

        Don’t say that!

  • cza

    Let us pause to appreciate Kane’s brilliance through some fun playoff stats.

    Kane is 4th in career playoff PPG among active players.
    His is tied for 32nd all-time with some bum named Coffey.
    He is the top active American-born playoff scorer.
    He’s potting 24.1 percent of his shots this Cup run.

    Top 10 active playoff scorers whose teams are still alive:





    St. Louis










    Biggest bunch of beauties.

  • cza

    Let us pause to appreciate Kane’s brilliance through some fun playoff stats.

    Kane is 4th in career playoff PPG among active players.
    His is tied for 32nd all-time with some bum named Coffey.
    He is the top active American-born playoff scorer.
    He’s potting 24.1 percent of his shots this Cup run.

    Top 10 active playoff scorers whose teams are still alive:

    • cza

      Yes, I see my terrible spelling error.

    • ZigZags82

      Wow. That’s ridiculously awesome. What weapons our four lines offer us now.

      • Brewblaz

        Teravainen is gong to be a star!

        • ItNeverEnds

          TT is absolutely gonna be a star! His hockey awareness is amazing. The puck finds him & his stick is just as active as Hoss’. He played an amazing hockey game last night.

    • Jim

      yea, but they could have traded him to buffalo and got miller

  • Just the Facts

    I have been a critic of Rozsival, but he did step up his game midway through the series against Nashville. Once the Hawks started playing more responsibly on defense, he wasn’t required to skate out of trouble or make long passes. Instead he could make the short pass to the forward in support. That put a greater emphasis on smart decisionmaking which is his strength rather than requiring speed which was his weakness. I hope the injury is not serious, and that he can return soon. It would be a shame for that to be his last game.
    If the pregame warmups at home in the playoffs are any indication, Cumiskey will be the replacement as he was the extra defenseman. I disagree with that because Rundblad provides more offensive upside and is to be sheltered with offensive zone starts anyway.
    Even if Keith plays 30 minutes per night, and Seabrook, Hjarmarsson, and Oduya play 25 per night, the Hawks will need at least 10 minutes from Timmonen and 5 from Cumiskey/Rundblad. I’d rather see 15 and 10 since I think it will be difficult to expect the top 4 to remain at top performance playing heavy minutes game after game.

  • DJ

    While I’m hoping Calgary wins tonight, wouldn’t an Anaheim win not grant the Hawks less rest, but instead give Anaheim almost an equal amount? It’s not like the NBA, where (until the Conference Finals) once a matchup is set, away they go?

    • Skags

      Ducks/ Flames are 2-1. So no. The Hawks are getting more rest.

    • mazer_rackham

      The NHL waits until all teams from the current round are done before starting the next. It seems unlikely that none of the current series would go to 6 or 7, so the Hawks probably have about a week no matter what happens in ANA-CGY.

  • Brandon Murray

    A few thoughts from last night:
    Before the 2 quick and fortunate goals courtesy of a pp and a 6 on 5 from Minny, Crow had only allowed like 2 goals on something like 96 shots from game 2 to the late stages of 4, WOW.
    Patrick Kane is good at hockey.
    Teuvo has some ridiculously slick moves.
    Hey Saad, shoot the effing puck when you can.
    Rozie, I’ve always put you down and made fun of you. I’ve knocked your books out of your hand on the way to class, put icy hot in your jock, and fired pucks at the back of your dome after practice. I’d like to apologize for all of that because you played a hell of a series and I hope you get well soon my friend.
    Also, the Wild made us sweat @ 4-3, but Saad’s whiff on an empty right side of the cage, the Captain’s difficulty settling down a shot pass on the pp into a wide open cage, and then hitting the post on another empty net (really empty). Hawks could have easily had 7 in this one. Bring on Calgary. Bring on Anaheim. Enjoy the rest boys, we’ve got work to do.

  • Harry Longwood

    “When the Hawks faced the Canucks this often it was some of the most spiteful and angry hockey we’ve seen in a while. With this, there really doesn’t seem to be much bile.”

    Matt Cooke is no Raffi Torres. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    • Jim

      Did you see Cooke cross checking Hossa in the back? Why can’t he do that to Seabrook or Bickell?

    • WookRN

      I still want to start a kickstarter for Torres’s head on a pike…

  • CementHeadStu

    Most of the time I think morons on the interwebs should be ignored, especially in social media. However, cheering for an injury for someone, is vile let alone for someone on the team you root for. I have, along with many others have been a vocal critic of Roszival this season, but he was playing decently as of late. I have broken my leg in almost exactly the same way, if that what it turns out to be, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Well, Maybe Kim Jong Un, because fuck that guy. So in my round about way I second Killion’s recommendation for those people to “go drink bleach.”

    • Jim

      Cheering for Rosi to be injured is not only mean, it’s just dumb.

      Since Q did not develop new young defensive talent, (and the unfortunate injury to TVR) the Hawks were committed to Rosival. And he was doing a good job. Now they have Runblad, who is untested in these situations, and Kimmo who looks slow.

      The time to settle the defense was 4 months ago, not the WCF.

      • ZigZags82

        Defense is basically settled anyway. We ride our top 4 hard anyway

  • Cluster_Puck

    Maybe I am the only one not on the cliff here with Rozi and yes he had gotten to a point of being a serviceable #5/6. But the play that did him in was his signature blow a tire on an odd man rush. Fortunately, Crow made the save, but how many times have we seen him lose his edge getting beat to the out side. Eventually, it was gonna Campoli us.

    I am sad to see him go down but I am hoping this forces Q’s hand to finally give is Marlboro 72, the Sweedes, and a 44-turnstyle for 12 mins a game. The Ducks don’t have scoring depth.

    This is something we all have been screaming for….just like we wanted Teuvo and Vermette and we were pretty much right about that.

    Last rant – For all the people who make it sound like playing the Wild 3 years in a row is so bizarre,,,what did you expect with this divisional format? I grew up watching the Hawks in early 80s and just thought we were required to play the North Stars every year…..

    • Jim

      And the Wild’s owner was a big lobbyist for this format. Now he has to face the Hawks the next 5 years with Kane and Toews in their primes, Saad, TT, and the new Russian Kane.

  • fromheretoinfirmary

    It’s going to be VERY interesting to see how things shake out with the D. In regard to Kimmo, I’m curious to see 1) how much Q is willing to play him even with the thin D-corps and 2) how he holds up. While he looks a step slow here and there and can get a little weird with his positioning, I personally have faith that he can take on a bigger role (read: 8-12 minutes) and not shit the bed. He’s a smart enough player and knows the opportunity he has here. Also, I think cuminsky gets the nod, and will be a decent “guy” to eat up third pair minutes.

  • mnwildfan38

    As much as people here in MN are talking about Kane and the elite scorers on the Hawks roster being the difference, I thought your D was almost flawless this series. You look at your first goal last night, bad bounce off a shinpad, ok fine. But then Pominville had a similar opportunity and Hjalmarsson didn’t even let the shot get off his stick. I’m no historian, but has there ever been a better 4th round pick? This exemplified the series for me, just sharper plays by the Hawks at both ends of the ice.
    I just heard that coach Q stopped into the hockey lodge at the Xcel Center to have a post game beer with some of us MN Wild rubes (and some Hawks fans too) after the game. Not sure he’d do that in Detroit or Philly, but much respect for that guy. How cool. I’m sorry I missed that.

    I seem to show up depressed on here this time every year… Anyway, thanks for the info and commentary once again. Wish it would have gone a few games longer. I’ll feel much better if you deliver Anaheim a serious beating.

    • fromheretoinfirmary

      I’m with you man. The hawks top 4 D is as good as it gets. Can drive offense, and still shut it down when necessary. Even that game 3 when you guys were pushing hard, SO many shots got blocked or never made it to the net. Nothing more frustrating than that for an opposing team. I personally like the Wild a lot, and if you would have moved on I would have been rooting for you (minus the people who chant Crawwwforrdd when he’s playing great, but that’s small potatoes!).

      Awesome about coach Q. Didn’t hear that one.

    • Jim

      If it makes you feel better, the Twins have been beating down the White Sox regularly for as long as I can remember.

      • mnwildfan38

        It would only help if AJ Pierzynski is the one getting the beating, and he’s not on the White Sox anymore.

  • Bruce

    The reason the Wild were so frightening before the playoffs was because of Dubnyk. But once the playoffs started, he mean reverted. Yes, Rozsie was much better in this series. But he is slow. A similar situation where he fell on his own happened to him in a previous game (Nashville?), although not as gruesome. As mentioned, Q has not developed defensive talent, despite a lot of it in the organization, and the Hawks may pay for that, especially if a top 4 guy goes down. Fingers crossed.

    • ZigZags82

      Eh, Hawks rode top 4 hard anyway throughout.

  • 334Rules

    Let this sink in for a moment: your THIRD line winger is Patrick Sharp.

    • fromheretoinfirmary

      And THIRD line center Vermette. And THIRD line winger (future superstar) Teuvo. And FOURTH line center kruger that you can trot out against the other team’s top threats without a worry.

      it’s almost unfair how deep we are at forward.

      • SuperHawk27

        And you technically have 7 players who are either Centers, or can play the position. Toews, Richards, Vermette, Kreuger, Desjardins, Shaw, TT….

        • Lemmy

          Sharp and Kane can play the position (not natural c’s, but have play long stints there to varying degrees of success), and Saad takes draws when Toews gets kicked. And in the pressbox, Nordstrom played center in his homeland. So, 9-11 on a given night could take faceoffs. But, F is F — the only real difference is the system/tactical responsibilities without possession and, of course, winning draws.

      • Jim

        I like unfair.

  • Bobby Otter

    It took nearly 90 games, the Blackhawks are playing out of this world right now. Yay.

    How many of the teams left are better than the Wild and Preds? Rangers? Tampa? That’s the list right? And I’m not sure if either team is.

    Speaking of the Wild, I’m not sure if that’s a really good team that just needs another piece/Vanek showing up or if they’re a paper tiger. Those possession stats in the playoffs are ugly. Yet, they were strong in the regular season. On one hand, I could easily find themselves playing for the Cup next year especially considering the ‘Hawks situation. On the other, they just hand their asses handed to them, possession wise, by the Blues and Hawks, and that’s not going to get you to the Finals.

  • Jim

    If they face Calgary in the WCF, it will be a triumphant return for the lion.

  • Cluster_Puck

    Q: Hey, Versteeg how is your D game?

    • WookRN

      If we go forward for D (Which we won’t, I get you’re joking) I was thinking Nordstrom.

      • CurvedStick