Wild coach, Mike Yeo, said that the Wild needed to hate the Hawks to be successful, and it worked. The Wild were the better team in every possible way yesterday. More speed, more hits, more energy, more goals, and apparently more hatred. Well hey Yeo, fuck you too bro. If there are any silver linings to being out-shot 37 to 27 and out-hit 34 to 13, it’s that now I think the Wild have the Hawks’ attention. The Wild are going to force the Blackhawks to elevate their game which can only be seen as a positive when you are at the beginning of a run for the Stanley Cup.
I haven’t been the biggest fan of Corey Crawford over the past two years, but I am 100% on board now. Yeah his rebound control wasn’t great on the first goal, and he wasn’t exactly technically sound on the OT winner, but he was absolutely the Blackhawks’ best player yesterday. For the first time since Crawford became the #1 goalie there isn’t a doubt in my mind that he is good enough to be the man on a Stanley Cup champion. Crawford’s game has been largely quiet through the first three games. He is seeing the puck and making saves look routine. That’s all a team as talented as the Hawks need in net.
Joel Quenneville tried to give the Hawks a jump yesterday by throwing his lines into a blender. Maybe now we will see a few lineup changes as well. I hate Carcillo as much as the next guy, but if he is healthy he is a better option at this point than Bollig. We need him out there running around doing all of the same pain in the ass stuff that Clutterbuck is doing. Carcillo is a pest, and the Hawks could use his energy. He is also a guy that can slide up and down the lineup. So if Coach Q wants to shake things up again he can throw Carcillo out with the top 6 for a shift or two. That’s not something Bollig is capable of doing.
Bolland traveled with the team to Minnesota and it would be great if he is ready to go for Game 4. He is a big time playoff performer who will definitely be an upgrade over Handzus on the 2nd line.
Kane is locked in right now. He is a transcendent passer. Five assists in three games. Even when the Hawks look dead offensively for long stretches, as they did yesterday, everyone knows that the Hawks can score at any time because when Kane has the puck it’s showtime all the time.
If you are concerned about the Hawks at all in this series…don’t be. I said the Hawks would lose Game 3 and all of my predictions on the Stool come true. Therefore, Hawks in 5 is a lock.