May 5, 2013; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forwardBryan Bickell
(29) shoots on Minnesota Wild goalieJosh Harding
(37) during the third period in game three of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Game #4-Chicago Blackhawks vs Minnesota Wild (Chicago leads the series 2-1)
Game Time-8:30 pm Central
Preview– The Wild finally turned on the aggression and it paid off giving them a 2-1 lead in the third period https://blackhawkup.com/2013/05/07/on-this-date-in-chicago-blackhawks-history-big-night-for-the-captain/ Game #3. They stepped off the gas and the Wild lost their lead on a Duncan Keith goal. The Wild returned to aggressive play and it payed off when Jason Zucker‘s soft goal got pass Corey Crawford. The Wild played an almost flawless game being very physical and fore-checking to perfection especially on their Game #3 goals. Harding was good enough to get the win although he hasn’t been as unbelievably good as he was in Game #1. The one thing that has worked well for the Wild the entire series is basically taking runs at the Hawks at every opportunity, Marcus Kruger has basically turned into a checking dummy and may be the reason that Coach Quenneville may be thinking of placing Daniel Carcillo in the lineup to put a second thought in the back of Wild players minds before taking runs at the Blackhawks stars. The Wild especially Mikko Koivu have been very good at beating the Hawks at the faceoff circle which was discussed at length during the telecast on Sunday.
The Blackhawks have played one game out of the three like their 2013 regular season. After getting production from their bottom lines in the first two games and Patrick Kane‘s passing wizardry in Game 3 it would be really nice if the top line of Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, and Brandon Saad finally join the series especially on the offensive end. Except for two Hossa assists the is group has been silent and in a Game 4 on the road their arrival would be a pleasant site for the men in white. Corey Crawford is the only reason the game made it to overtime but like last years playoffs against the Phoenix Coyotes, Crawford was the reason the Hawks skated off the ice in overtime with a loss. Crawford was great stopping everything but two backhanders top shelf in close during regulation. If Crawford continues to play like he has in regulation for the rest of the playoffs the Hawks really won’t have a goalie controversy.
Prediction- The Hawks play like the Hawks and gain total control of the series with a 5-1 victory.
What is your prediction for the game tonight?
For more Blackhawks conversation follow us on Twitter @Blackhawk_Up or friend us on Facebook at Blackhawk Up.