2013 NHL Playoffs: Blackhawks/Wild Game 4 recap

Associated Press/Jim Mone Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding, left, stops a shot by the Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews in the first period of Game 4 of their first round Stanley Cup playoff series, Tuesday in St. Paul, Minn. Harding was injured on the play and left the game after the first period.

Associated Press/Jim Mone
Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding, left, stops a shot by the Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews in the first period of Game 4 of their first round Stanley Cup playoff series, Tuesday in St. Paul, Minn. Harding was injured on the play and left the game after the first period.

As the Blackhawks try to live up to the large expectations from their regular season stay on top of their developments with We Are Regal Radio’s Sidney Brown here on WARR online and on Regal broadcasting. Also follow on twitter @regalradio1.

By Sidney Brown, WARR contributor

If a little taste of domination is what you’ve been expecting from the Chicago Blackhawks this playoff season then Game 4 of their first round series with the Minnesota Wild finally gave you your wish.

After an overtime loss in game three, which allowed the Wild to entertain thoughts of making an impact in this series, the Hawks performance in their 3-0 victory Tuesday spoke volumes to why they’re simply the better team in this series.

After killing off an early Wild power play, the Hawks took control of the game by moving the puck on offense and playing solid defense. Hawks winger Patrick Sharp took care most of the offense by tallying two goals (Sharp’s sixth career two goal game in the playoffs, he’s tied for first in goals scored in the 2013 playoffs) while game one hero Bryan Bickell added an insurance goal in the third to secure the win.

The Wild never could grab control of the game, its offense featured near misses at the net and terrible passes at the blue line during a long night in the Xcel Energy Center for the home team. An ugly turn occurred early when Minnesota goaltender Josh Harding collided near the net with Hawks captain Jonathan Toews towards the end of the first period. Harding, who was reported to have suffered a left leg injury, was replaced by Darcy Kuemper, who started only three games this season and was making his first ever playoff appearance.

Despite the goalie change, which may likely signaled the beginning of the end for Minnesota, it was still a total team effort put on by the Hawks in game 4. Chicago displayed resilience after a tough loss Sunday and provided another performance that showcased why it is one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup.

With a commanding 3-1 series lead, as to be expected, the Hawks will look to put the Wild to bed Thursday night as the series shifts back to Chicago for game 5 at the United Center, the puck first drops at 8:30 pm central time.

Giving Props

First, Hawks goalie Corey Crawford posted his second career postseason shutout while making 25 saves in the process. Crawford also receives my Game Puck for his efforts Tuesday night.

With his shutout in game 4, Crawford now has a 1.39 goals against average with a .949 save percentage in the series. There should now be NO QUESTIONS about Crawford’s ability to lead the Hawks to the promised land.

Second, the Hawks’ special teams — the penalty kill unit, who finished fourth in the league during the regular season, shut out the Wild (0-6) on their man advantage.  Minnesota is the only team in the playoffs thus far to not to score on the power play.

Third, Hawks’ rookie Brandon Saad was nominated as one of three finalists for the Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year) and Wild defenseman Ryan Suter was nominated as a finalist for the Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman). Old school Hawks fans should have no problem placing Ryan’s uncle Gary, who played for the Blackhawks back in the mid 1990’s (1993 – 1998).

Extra props go to Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith, who along with his wife Kelly-Rae, welcomed a brand new baby boy into the world on Monday, this is the couple’s first child.

Sidney Brown is a veteran in sports radio, having worked for Sporting News Radio for several years.  Sidney has followed hockey since 1993, the year after the Blackhawks lost the Stanley Cup Finals to the Pittsburgh Penguins.  A huge Hawks fan, Sidney went to his first game in April of 1999. He proudly owns 14 Hawks jerseys.  

One response to “2013 NHL Playoffs: Blackhawks/Wild Game 4 recap

  1. Pingback: Hawks Recap: Third Period Collapse Benefits Wild in Needed Win | WARR - We Are Regal Radio·

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