[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t seems like it wouldn’t be a Chicago Blackhawks playoff race if they didn’t have to face the Minnesota Wild as the team has for the past three seasons in a row. This season’s matchup is shaping up to be a repeat of the previous years, with the Hawks getting closer to a parade with Stanley and the Wild getting closer to an early vacation.
The first two games were both hosted in the Mad House on Madison; Game 1 had the Blackhawks poised to quickly stamp the win with Brandon Saad, Patrick Kane and Marcus Kruger all scoring in the first period. During the second quarter, the Hawks started getting sloppy in defense as the Wilds’ Jason Zucker, Zack Parise and Mikael Granlund tied the Hawks to 3-3. Teuvo Teravainen came to the rescue late in the second period to prevent what would have been a great upset by bringing Chicago back to the lead with his first goal of the post season. The Blackhawks defeated the Minnesota Wild in Game 1 with a score of 4-3.
Onto Game 2—the Blackhawks looked to take a commanding lead in the series. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane scored a couple of goals in the second period, while Patrick Sharp and Kane scored in the third period. Minnesota’s only goal came from Matt Dumba in the third period. The Blackhawks seemed to try to fix their sloppy defense by only allowing one goal in Game 2.
Although the biggest factor of success in this series so far is the way Chicago’s top players are performing in this second round matchup. Blackhawks’ coach Joel Quenneville stated, ”I think they’ve been good consistently, game in, game out. They’ve been our best players, leading the charge, consistently playing the right way, making their lines or the linemates better. But that’s how you have success as a team, when your leaders and best players lead the charge.” And what more could you ask for from players whose jerseys fans proudly wear?
Look forward to the Blackhawks dominating the rest of the series and hearing a lot more Chelsea Dagger blaring at the United Center.
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