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Souhan blog: Takeaways from Game 3

  • Blog Post by: Jim Souhan
  • May 6, 2014 - 11:20 PM

Wrote my column about the Wild's young forwards, who won Game 3 for them. ``It's not like we're hiding them on the fourth line,'' Wild coach Mike Yeo said. ``They're playing big roles for us.''

Yes, they are.

In some ways, the Game 3 result could have been expected. The Wild had won three straight Game 3s, and the Blackhawks had lost their first road game of the last eight playoff series. Tuesday made it nine.

Here's who was most impressive on Tuesday:

-I kept waiting for Ilya Bryzgalov to falter and Josh Harding to leap off the top rope and into the game. Tuesday, Bryzgalov pitched a shutout. Give him credit. He maintained his composure through poor play and outside criticism.

-As I note in the column, Yeo has made all kinds of beneficial moves this postseason. It seems every time he shuffles lines or makes a roster change, he gets results. And I think the key to this postseason was his unwillingness to whine about bad calls against Colorado. He kept the focus on the next game, never letting his players spend their time grumbling about officiating.

-Wrote mostly about Granlund, who was spectacular in the Olympics and has been again during these playoffs. He made a beautiful move to his backhand on his first goal, and had a tap-in into an empty net.

-I can't figure out how Erik Haula lasted into the seventh round of the NHL draft. Yes, he's small, but he's fast and played well for the Gophers in front of all manner of scouts. He has been the Wild's most effective player for stretches.

-Yeo just said he expects Matt Cooke to be in the lineup on Friday, for his physical play. I would guess that Matt Moulson, who was invisible again on Tuesday, would sit in favor of Cooke.

-The Blackhawks plan to fly home for their off days and return on Thursday afternoon.

-Doesn't it feel like the Blackhawks just coast at times? They're certainly the more accomplished and demonstrably better team, but there are times when they seem content to wait for the opponent to make a mistake. That happens more in Chicago, where the Hawks benefit from crowd noise and the last line change.

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I'll be on WJON in St. Cloud at 7:15 and on 1500ESPN in the Twin Cities at 12:15ish all week. I'll be heading to Chicago for Game 5 with Michael Russo, so you can see more videos of us getting drowned out by a Zamboni at United Center.

My Twitter handle is @Souhanstrib.

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