Stanley Cup Playoffs: Wild/Hawks Game 1 recap

Jonathan Daniel

Wild lose in OT 2-1, but played an AMAZING game

This game could not have started on a worse note. During warm ups, Niklas Backstrom reached out to block a shot and pulled what looked to be a groin muscle. After not being able to put any weight one it and being helped to the dressing room, word trickled down that Backstrom would be out and Josh Harding would be starting.

Cal Clutterbuck managed to score the Wild's first shot on the game, with a beautiful little wrister that went right behind Crawford. Clayton Stoner got hurt at some point in the first, which led to Suter being double shifted. The Wild left the 1st period up by one.

Marian Hossa tied the game up for the Blackhawks with a goal in the 2nd on a very, VERY bad call by the refs when they called Zach Parise for goalie interference. Thanks for the help there Brandon Saad and Duncan Keith. The Wild got two power plays in the second, but were unable to convert on either of them, to no ones surprise. Stoner came back, but still saw very limited minutes. The end of the 2nd saw the game tied up at 1.

The third had both teams flying, with the Wild playing with fire. Jason Zucker was able to draw a high sticking penalty, which again the Wild failed to score on. The Hawks had the momentum throughout the period, but thanks to Jared Spurgeon, who from this point on will be known as TANK, blocked shots left and right and threw guys off the puck like he was twice his 5'9 size. After an intense period that left me with a bleeding leg do to a check by a table, the game went into OT.

Overtime was nuts. Possession switched between both teams so quickly that it gave you the feeling like you were going to consistently throw up everything you could have every even thought about eating in your life. Tom Gilbert took a stupid penalty after the Wild managed to get on a power play, but luckily the Wild killed it off. Unfortunately, the W wasn't in the cards tonight. With just under 3 and a half minutes left in OT, Bryan Bickell and Viktor Stalberg managed to get past Jonas Brodin and Ryan Suter, and beat Harding for the OT winner.

Game 2 is Friday night, 8:30pm in Chicago. I expect the Wild will be hungry for that win.

Interesting points:

  • Suter finished with 41:08 TOI, highest for any Wild player and 2nd highest of his career
  • Harding made 35 saves in his first playoff start
  • Brodin played 34:20 TOI, in his first NHL playoff game.
  • The Wild hung with the Hawks. The series isn't looking like a sweep after all
  • Spurgeon had SEVEN blocked shots.
  • The only two players to not record any hits were Devin Setoguchi (Uh, the hell?) and Spurgeon.

Final stats

player

G

A

p/m

pim

hits

blocks

shots

toi

Stoner

0

1

1

0

2

0

0

8:18

Scandella

0

0

0

0

1

4

0

22:37

Cullen

0

0

0

0

1

0

2

20:56

Koivu

0

0

0

2:00

2

0

2

24:44

Setoguchi

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

19:05

Parise

0

0

0

2:00

3

0

2

24:47

Zucker

0

0

0

0

1

1

1

17:29

Mitchell

0

0

-1

0

2

0

3

13:43

Suter

0

0

-1

0

2

4

0

41:08

Brodziak

0

0

1

0

3

1

2

23:49

Clutterbuck

1

0

1

0

3

0

2

17:39

Brodin

0

0

1

0

5

2

1

34:20

Rupp

0

0

-1

0

6

0

2

11:24

Konopka

0

0

-1

0

1

0

1

11:54

Spurgeon

0

0

0

0

0

7

2

26:15

Coyle

0

0

0

0

2

1

1

20:48

Gilbert

0

0

0

2:00

1

1

0

20:37

Bouchard

0

0

1

0

1

0

3

17:27

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